The renowned American fashion designer Virgil Abloh died Sunday of cancer in Chicago at the age of 41, the fashion and luxury house's French owners LVMH announced.
LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault said in a statement: "We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, but also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,".
According to a statement from Abloh’s family on the designer’s Instagram account, Abloh battled cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which a tumor occurs in the heart.
"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues," the post read.
Abloh was an architect by trade and simultaneously worked in Chicago street fashion. In 2009 he did an internship with Fendi with rapper Kanye West. This kickstarted a collaboration between the two, which culminated in the launch of the brand Off-White. Abloh was one of the first person of African descent to take the role of artistic director at a French luxury fashion house.
In 2018, Abloh became the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear ready wear line.
Along with his many successes in the world of fashion he was also named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. His bringing together of street wear and luxury fashion was described as transformative by The New York Times.