LVMH, Louis Vuitton, and Off-White announced yesterday that Virgil Abloh passed away following a private, two-year battle with cancer. He was 41.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” says LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. “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 or their friend.”
The artist, engineer, architect, creative director, and designer first commanded the design world’s attention when he launched the Milan-based Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh brand in 2012. Following a show at 2015 Paris Fashion Week, Off-White was included among the finalists for the LVMH Prize that same year. Abloh went on to be named the men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton in March 2018, and LVMH acquired a majority stake in Off-White LLC in July 2021.
Abloh’s work has been showcased at design institutions across the globe, including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, and the Rhode Island School of Design. A major exhibition of past and current work was also hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago in 2019. Abloh received a civil engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison as well as a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.