Virgil Abloh Passes Away At 41 Years Old After Private Battle With Cancer


| LAST UPDATE 11/29/2021

By Mahlik Campbell
Virgil Abloh
Pierre Suu via Getty Images

In a post to his 6.5 million Instagram followers, Virgil Abloh's family announced his death at 41 years old, rocking the worlds of fashion, music and art.

The Off-White founder and CEO and artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear had privately battled a rare and aggressive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma since 2019.

"Through [his cancer diagnosis], his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered," the IG caption 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.

"He often said, 'Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,' believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations." Just days earlier, Virgil re-released a pair of jeans in collaboration with Tremaine Emory's Denim Tears imprint and Levi's, dubbed "Abloh Tears."

Virgil earned degrees in civil engineering and architecture before rising to prominence alongside fellow Chicagoan Kanye West. Ye made Virgil creative director of his creative agency, Donda, after meeting through a T-shirt shop in Chicago.

They took their fashion pursuits to another level while interning together at Fendi in Rome in 2009. Almost a decade later in 2018, they cried tears of joy after Virgil presented his debut LV fashion show in Paris.

Virgil's work with Kanye resulted in a few beautiful pieces of album cover art, including '808s & Heartbreak,' 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,' 'Yeezus' and 'Watch The Throne.'

Additional album covers he helped bring to fruition are Lil Uzi's 'Luv Is Rage 2,' Big Sean's 'Dark Sky Paradise,' A$AP Rocky's 'Long.Live.A$AP,' Westside Gunn's 'Pray For Paris' and many more.

Virgil also changed sneaker culture forever via "The Ten," a joint effort between Off-White and Nike that reimagined 10 different Nike silhouettes, from the Air Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 to the Air Presto.

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This venture allowed him to experiment with signature design elements, like zip ties, deconstructed builds and quotation marks. "What we're talking about here is larger than sneakers, it’s larger than design culture," he said at the time. "These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa."

RIP Virgil.