After a 2-year long battle with a rare cancer known as Cardiac Angiosarcoma, legendary designer Virgil Abloh died in Chicago on Sunday, November 28, 2021. He was 41-years-old.
The announcement of Virgil’s death came from his personal Instagram account, in which the Abloh family revealed his private battle with cancer. At this time there are no details regarding a service or memorial for Virgil, but the Abloh family requested privacy as they grieve.
Virgil’s death came as a shock to the world as the renowned designer was at the helm of several creative ventures at the time of his death. Virgil’s work spans across artistic industries as his influence can be seen in sneakers, music, fashion, design, sports, culture, and education.
In 2013, Virgil started his label Off-White, an elevated by-product of his initial design endeavor, Pyrex Vision. Known for its modern deconstructed aesthetics and “INFAMOUS QUOTATIONS,” Off-White bridged the gap between streetwear and high fashion, creating a lane for a new generation of designers.
Virgil made history in 2018 as he was appointed Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, making him the first Black man to ever hold the position in the brand’s 162-year history. This came as a full-circle moment for Virgil, as he revealed to Naomi Campbell that Louis Vuitton served as a key inspiration for him and his early collaborator, Kanye West.
As reactions to his unbelievable passing came in, it became more clear than ever that Virgil’s influence will continue to inspire artists everywhere. He was a visionary in the true sense of the word and his loss will be felt for generations to come. At only 41-years-old, Virgil gave the creative world so much and managed to inspire everyone around him along the way. Memorials from close friends and collaborators often cited Virgil as a “cheerleader.” He was known as prominent co-sign for young designers and new talent. He was a cultural liaison that connected people from all walks of life. To Virgil it didn’t matter if you were just getting started or had been trying for years — as long as you had ideas and drive, you deserved a seat at the table. Virgil made way for youth in an industry that often seems closed-off and stuffy. He was the refresh that both streetwear and high-fashion needed. More than just his unconventional knack for design, Virgil was loved because he reminded the world of the what’s most important — community.
As people around the world remember Virgil Abloh, let his legacy continue to inspire us to champion those around us, build the life of our dreams, and have heart at the center of everything we do.