Virgil Abloh, a multi-hyphenate creative, Founder of Off White and Artistic Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton, has died from cancer at the age of 41. In a statement shared by LVMH, CEO Bernard Arnault disclosed that Abloh had been privately battling the disease for several years.
“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations,” the statement said.
In Abloh’s memory, LBSS Fashion & Accessories members have shared some of their personal highlights from the designer’s illustrious career:
“If someone drew my career, it’s a lexicon of Black creatives” – Abloh, 2021
Virgil leaves behind a legacy of collaboration and support of fellow black designers. His view of his career as a vessel and eco-system to enable black creatives was a milestone for fostering diversity in an otherwise non-credited design community.
– Hanna Ekeroth (@hannaekeroth)
After being appointed as Vuitton’s artistic director for menswear in 2018, Abloh presented a polychromatic spectacle in front of Palais Royal to present his disruptive vision for the iconic maison. A vision of joy, inclusivity, and diversity—.
– Lukas Bauer (@luksbauer)
In less than a decade, Off-White became a reference in the luxurious sportswear industry, partnering with brands like Nike. Through original and creative collaborations, Virgil Abloh made a name for himself. In 2019, he released “MARKERAD” with IKEA, presenting a minimalistic design collection with his famous quotation marks.
– Carla Latham (@carla_lathm)
Virgil Abloh designed Louis Vuitton’s SS19 “School Teens” campaign: set in a school, with students instead of models, it highlights the passage from boyhood to adulthood: bright-colored t-shirts symbolize the conformity of the school uniform and the opposing factions of the city gangs, in contrast with the concept of individualism and personal identity.
– Giulia Galimberti (@isab.liet)
Abloh’s vision contributed to fight the preconceptions on mens’ and womenswear. His vision that the (track)suit doesn’t make the man embodied the need of people to express itself truly and without filters, redefining “the grey area between black and white” through diversity and inclusion. To Virgil, being a designer meant standing for a generation and its uniqueness.
– Silvia Borsetto (@silviaborsetto_)