Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Louis Vuitton Dies Following Cancer Battle

In Summary

Virgil Abloh of the Off-White and Louis Vuitton fashion houses has passed away from cancer at the age of 41. 

You never know what silent battles others are fighting, a phrase further proven to be true following news of the unexpected death of Off-White chief executive officer Virgil Abloh to cancer on Sunday.

Abloh, 41, was also responsible for implementing the artistic vision of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line, the first Black person to serve in an artistic director role in the company’s 167-year history. In an Instagram post shared to his account, it was revealed he battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma for over two years.

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In the midst of leading a number of important institutions in fashion, art, and culture, he chose to fight his cancer quietly, undergoing several difficult treatments, per the post.

“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” it read. “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.”

In a statement, leading sportswear brand Nike said they’re heartbroken by the news, remembering Abloh as a beloved member of its family, along with sister brands Converse and Jordan, for the past five years.

“He was a creative force who shared a passion for challenging the status quo, pushing forward a new vision while inspiring multiple generations along the way,” said Nike.

News of Abloh’s passing sent shockwaves across the fashion and art communities, prompting many to send their condolences across social media, where he was praised as a trendsetter and trailblazer in the fashion industry.  

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He was the inspiration behind Quavo and Quality Control’s 2019 single “Virgil” and he was referenced in music by other rappers, including Kanye West, Drake and Travis Scott. 

“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” said LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault. “The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”

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