Off White, Louis Vuitton artistic designer Virgil Abloh passes away

(Source: Reuters/Benoit Tessier)

Virgil Abloh, artistic director at LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White, has passed away.

Abloh had been privately battling cancer for several years, according to a statement from LVMH.

“We are all shocked after this terrible news,” LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault said.

“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 and their friend.”

Abloh trained as an architect and engineer in his early life, and transitioned to designing clothes in 2012. In 2013, he founded Off White, and became the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton in 2018.

He also partnered and collaborated with artists and brands outside of the fashion space, from designing album covers to Kanye West, to furniture for Ikea.

Abloh’s official Instagram said he had battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer known as cardiac angiosarcoma, and chose to keep his battle private.

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

“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.”

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