Fashion designer Virgil Abloh, the founder of the Off-White luxury fashion label and the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear, died Sunday (November 28) after a private battle with cancer, according a statement shared on Louis Vuitton's verified Twitter account.
"LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday, November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years," Louis Vuitton tweeted.
"We are all shocked after this terrible news," Louis Vuitton chairman Berard Arnault said in the company's official statement announcing Abloh's death. "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 sorry, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend."
An official statement shared on Abloh's verified Instagram account confirms the fashion icon "battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma," after being diagnosed in 2019 and "undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.
Abloh, a native of Rockford, Illinois, began his international fashion career during an internship at Fendi alongside Kanye West in 2009, which led to an artistic collaboration between the two that launched Abloh's founding of Off-White in Milan, which has collaborated with Nike, Levi's, Jimmy Choo, IKEA and others.
Abolh had served as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear ready wear line since March 2018, making him one of the few Black designers to to lead the major French fashion house and debuted his first collection for Louis Vuitton at the 2018 Men's Fashion Week at the Palais-Royal gardens show in Paris.
Abloh was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2018.