Virgil Abloh, the founder of the fashion label Off-White and Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, passed away Sunday at 41.
After privately battling a rare form of cancer for years, the news came as a monumental shock to the millions of lives the multi-hyphenate artist touched with a career that spanned decades and fields.
As founder of Off-White, Abloh revitalized and defined the fashion scene of the 2010s with his street fashion influences. He collaborated with countless figures and brands, including close friend Kanye West — where Abloh served as the creative director of DONDA. The Chicago natives met while interning at Fendi in 2009, years before their fateful forays into fashion. Abloh went on to design several of West’s iconic album covers for West – namely "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and "Yeezus." In his honor, West dedicated this past Sunday Service to Abloh.
A full-fledged DJ before venturing into fashion, he understood the importance of music in fashion. His DJ-crew-turned-streetwear brand Been Trill blew up instantly in 2012 and created an influencer blueprint that has trickled down as countless other brands would go on to follow.
As artistic director at Louis Vuitton, Abloh breathed new life into the flagship brand. As the fashion world became more accessible through social media, he reached unseen levels of fame and prestige for his art. Louis Vuitton announced the news with “Virgil Was Here,” a short film to honor the immense artist's life.
According to his wishes, their upcoming Spring/Summer 2022 Show will be held in Miami and dedicated to Abloh. Kim Jones, Abloh’s predecessor at LV, remembered him fondly.
Abloh carried us into the direction of the future we will grow to see. He will forever be remembered for the everlasting impact he made on the world through his art and impact on culture.