“We are all shocked by this terrible news,” said LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault. “Virgil is not only a genius designer, a visionary, he is also a man with a beautiful soul and great intellect. The LVMH family joins me in this very sad moment and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the death of their husband, father, brother or friend. ” According to a statement posted on the designer’s Instagram. “He has chosen to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019,” the statement said. Through it all, Abloh shouldered the amount of work required to design the many collections each year for both Louis Vuitton and Off-White.
Abloh’s influence as a designer is hard to measure. He emerged from the role of Kanye West’s creative delivery man with his own vision of fashion, which he made possible through his work first at Pyrex Vision and finally Off- White and Louis Vuitton. If streetwear and fashion are now hit items, it’s in large part thanks to Abloh’s influence. His appointment as Vuitton’s men’s creative director signals a change in the fashion industry: both in terms of the types of clothing produced and the people responsible for producing them. More than that, he helped create a modern creative life – characterized by endless repetition, constant collaboration, frequent travel and a global community of collaborators – almost immediately became the template for dynamic and aspiring designers and artists. “Virgil is driven by his dedication to the craft and his mission to open doors for others and create pathways to greater equality in art and design,” the statement on His Instagram said. “He used to say, ‘Everything I do is for a 17-year-old version of myself,’ deeply believing in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
And when he told GQ Style in 2019 about his oral history of his life and career, he still felt he was closer to the beginning than the end. Just before opening a retrospective of his career at the Art Institute of Chicago – his stated aim was for the show to create five new Virgils – he put it this way: “I feel like I’m figuring things out, but I’m not making it” doesn’t feel accomplished. I still feel like an intern.”