Virgil Abloh , art director of Louis Vuitton and founder of the fashion label Off-White, has died of cancer at the age of 41, it has been announced.
Revealing the news, the parent company of French fashion house LVMH described Abloh as a “genius” and an “industrialist”.
The US designer rose to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director. But later made history as the first African-American to lead Louis Vuitton.
Virgil Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon, and their two children.
A statement on his Instagram page described him as “a father, husband, son, brother and a very devoted friend”.
Abloh was diagnosed with heart angiosarcoma. A rare, aggressive form of cancer – in 2019, but he did not do so publicly.
“Virgil Abloh has chosen to tolerate her battle secretly. Since her diagnosis in 2019, and she has been treated for many challenges. While helping many important institutions related to fashion, arts and culture,” the statement read.
“Overall, his work ethic, relentless curiosity and optimism never wavered.”
Abloh was often hailed as one of the strongest fashion designers. In the fashion industry but also a DJ and artist, with a degree in civil engineering and construction.
LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault said: “ Virgil Abloh was not only a brilliant designer. A visionary, a man of great spirit and great ingenuity.
“The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow. And we all think of their loved ones after the death of their husband, father, brother or friend.”
Virgil Abloh was born September 30, 1980, in Rockford, Illinois, to Ghanaian
immigrant parents. His mother was a seamstress and his father was in charge of a paint company. From his mother, he learned to sew. Abloh grew up in Rockford, where he attended Boylan Catholic High School, graduating in 1998. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in social engineering. He obtained a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2006.
While Virgil Abloh was on his way to IIT. There was a building at a tertiary institution under construction designed by architect Rem Koolhaas. (who also worked on the airport collection in Prada) that helped arouse his fashion interests. While studying design, she designed T-shirts and wrote about the fashion and design of the well-known blog, The Brilliance. Virgil Abloh first met famous artist Kanye West while working on his designs at a Chicago print shop.
2009–2013: Rise to appear
After graduating from university, Abloh trained at Fendi in the same class as rapper Kanye West in 2009. Placed in the company’s office in Rome, Italy, the two began a working relationship. While working with the rapper and designer, Abloh caught the eye of Louis Vuitton CEO, Michael Burke. Later that year, Virgil Abloh and his art partner, Don C, founded a retail store, called the RSVP Gallery, located in Chicago. A year later, West appointed Abloh the creative director of his creative agency, Donda.
In 2011, West asked him to work as artistic director for Jay-Z / West’s 2011 album Watch Throne. In 2012, Abloh launched his first company, Pyrex Vision. He bought the dead clothes from Ralph Lauren for $ 40, the designs printed on the screen on them and sold them for more than $ 550. The stated goal of Pyrex Vision was to represent the importance of youth culture, by including designs around clothing that many young people would recognize in a gym class. Virgil ‘s ideas may be more explicit about the present value. He closed the company a year later because he did not intend it to become a commercial venture, but an art experiment.
2013–2018: Off-White and collaboration
At the end of 2018, the sales index and consumer sentiment ranked Off-White as the hottest label in the world, surpassing Gucci. Virgil Abloh also partnered with Swedish furniture company IKEA to design apartment and house furniture and portable clothing bags with the word engraved on the inside. Virgil was of the opinion that the collection would include functional furniture with modern designs.
Abloh worked on chair designs, coffee tables, beds, storage cabinets, mirrors, and carpets without his cooperation with IKEA. Virgil Abloh used quotation marks to convey social divisions and social norms. During the rise of neo-nationalism in 2017 Abloh worked with mind artist Jenny Holzer to create a line emphasizing the positive aspects of immigration, cultural integration, and global trade. In December 2017, she worked with Holzer again to design T-shirts for Planned Parenthood in response to the Women’s March in Washington.
Abloh’s interest in music led him to become a DJing from an early age. He was a DJ at home parties in high school and college. His influences include DJ A-Trak, Benji B, and Gilles Peterson. Over the years, Abloh gained recognition as a DJ and began performing shows around the world. Virgil Abloh has released his debut single “Orvnge” with a German DJ / pro