Off-White designer Virgil Abloh dies aged 41

He had been suffering from an aggressive form of cancer for two years.

Amanda Tan

Skills include buying the same jeans in different colours.

Published: 29 November 2021, 12:46 PM

Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founder of luxury fashion label Off-White, died at the age of 41 on Sunday (Nov 28). 

His death was said to be caused by cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, according to a post on his Instagram account. He had been diagnosed in 2019 and chose to endure the battle privately, a statement by LVMH said. 

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of LVMH, owner of both Off-White and Louis Vuitton, added: “Virgil was not only a genius designer – a visionary – he was also a man with a beautiful soul and a great wisdom.”

Virgil had kick-started his career as a modern fashion designer in 2012 after training as an architect. His first design was a screenprint on a Ralph Lauren rugby shirt and it helped to set the tone for his subsequent works. He had since collaborated with big name brands like Nike, IKEA and even Mercedes-Benz.

Apart from the fashion industry, Virgil was also a prominent figure in the rap scene as he often designed album covers for artists like Kanye West, Octavian and Lil Uzi Vert. 

In fact, he and Kanye had been closely working together before he even became a fashion designer. In an interview, the rapper had said of Virgil: “I have all these ideas and Virgil is able to architect them because he is an actual architect.”

Hailey Bieber, Justin Timberlake and Gigi Hadid are some of the many celebrities who have been paying tribute to the prolific, barrier-breaking designer.

“He was someone who always brought life, charisma, love and fun to any situation, and every room he walked into. A once-in-a-generation creative mind that is so rare and I’ll never forget his impact,” shared Bieber in an Instagram post along with pictures of herself with Virgil in the wedding dress he had designed. 

Virgil is survived by his wife Shannon and his children Lowe and Grey.


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