Virgil Abloh, designer Louis Vuitton and Off-White, and the revolutionary creative force at the center of contemporary fashion and culture, died Sunday at the age of 41. Abloh died of cancer “which he had been fighting in private for several years. years, ” LVMH, the parent company that owns Louis Vuitton, shared in a statement Sunday morning.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news,” said Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH. “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sadness, and we all think of his relatives after the death of their husband, father, brother or friend. ” Abloh has battled a rare form of cancer known as cardiac angiosarcoma, “He has chosen to endure his battle in private since his diagnosis in 2019,” the statement said. Through it all, Abloh has taken on the necessary workload to design numerous collections per year for Louis Vuitton and Blanc.
Abloh’s influence as a designer is hard to measure. He emerged from his role as Kanye West’s creative advisor with his own vision of fashion, which he brought to life through his work first at Pyrex Vision and eventually Off-White and Louis Vuitton. If streetwear and fashion now go hand in hand, it’s largely thanks to Abloh’s influence. His appointment as Creative Director of Vuitton for Men marked a shift in the fashion industry: both in the types of clothes that were made and who was responsible for making them. More than that, he helped create a sort of modern creative life – characterized by endless iterations, constant collaboration, frequent travel, and a global community of collaborators – which almost immediately became the model for active and emerging designers. grass and artists of all stripes. “Virgil was motivated by his dedication to his craft and his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design,” the statement said on his Instagram. “He would often say, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ deeply believing in the power of art to inspire future generations.
And as he told GQ Style in 2019 for an oral history of his life and career, he always felt closer to the beginning of things than to the end. Right before the opening of a career retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago – his stated intention was for the show to create five new Virgils – he put it this way: “I feel like I understand things, but I don’t ‘I don’t feel accomplished yet. I always feel like an intern.