The world is currently mourning the loss of beloved designer, Virgil Abloh, who passed away on Sunday 28th November 2021 after a private battle with cancer, which he had been facing since 2019.
In the early hours of yesterday evening, Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, broke the news on the conglomerate’s Instagram in a statement that read, “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. 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.”
A true creative maverick, the Ghanaian-American designer rose to the helm of the fashion world through stints at Fendi, a role he undertook with longtime friend and collaborator Kanye West, and through the establishment of his now-infamous label, Pyrex Vision. What the polymath was most known for, however, was his contributions to the world of street style through the birth of his luxury fashion label Off-White and the incomparable work he produced after stepping into the shoes of Kim Jones as artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear in 2018, a role from which he challenged boundaries and revolutionised menswear codes.
But, while his ingenious creative mind was enough to render him a generational icon, his status as a social barrier-breaker was another thing that made him an inspiration to so many. Standing as the first Black artistic director at Louis Vuitton as well as an avid advocate for paving the way for a new, diverse wave of creative talents, something he nurtured through the establishment of a $1 million scholarship for Black students last year and countless mentorship programmes, his loss is one that is being felt by an entire generation of rising creatives, and beyond.
Virgil Abloh has left behind his wife, Shannon and two children Grey and Lowe, and our thoughts are with them in this deeply difficult time.