Virgil Abloh, who was most recently the male artistic director of Louis Vuitton, died Sunday after a private battle with cancer. He is 41 years old.
A post on Abloh’s verified Instagram page announced his death, explaining that he had been battling a rare form of cancer, an angioma of the heart, for over two years.
“He has chosen to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing several rounds of challenging treatment, all while running a number of key organizations including fashion, art and culture,” the post continued.
“Through it all, his work ethic, boundless curiosity and optimism never wavered,” the caption on Instagram. “Virgil is driven by his dedication to the craft and his mission to open doors to others and create paths to greater equality in art and design. He often says, “Everything I do is in service of a 17-year-old version of myself,” deeply believing in the power of art to inspire future generations.
Abloh, who founded high streetwear label Off-White and was a longtime creative director of Kanye West, assumed a prestigious role at Louis Vuitton in 2018, becoming art director Black the label’s first and one of the few Black designers to head a high-end French designer.
In a statement, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy CEO Bernard Arnault said, “We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil is not only a genius and visionary designer, he is also a man with a beautiful soul and great intellect. The LVMH family joins me in this very sad hour and we are all thinking of his loved ones at the loss of their husband, father, brother, son and friends. ”
Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon, children Lowe and Grey, sister Edwina, and parents Nee and Eunice.
More will come.