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Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton designer and creator of Off-White, has died

Virgil Abloh during the presentation of his Fall / Winter 2019-2020 women’s ready-to-wear collection for his brand Off-White during Women’s Fashion Week in Paris, France, on February 28, 2019 (REUTERS)

Known worldwide for being the founder of the Off-White brand and being at the forefront of Louis Vuitton men’s collections, Virgil Abloh died at the age of 41 this Sunday, November 28 from cancer that he suffered from years ago.

On the designer’s Instagram account, his family left a long message paying tribute to “a devoted father, husband, son, brother and friend.” “We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Gray Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues, ”they add.

In the text, his family explains that “For more than two years, Virgil He fought valiantly against a rare and aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. She has chosen to endure her battle in private since her diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, while running several major institutions spanning fashion, art and culture. “

His family said that despite everything, “his work ethic, his endless curiosity and his optimism never wavered.” And they added: “Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and his mission to open doors to others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design.”

“We are all shocked by this terrible news. 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 at this time of great grief, and we are all thinking of their loved ones after the passing of their husband, father, brother or friend, ”said Bernard Arnault, CEO of the French group LVMH.

Born on September 30, 1980, in Rockford, Illinois, where his parents emigrated, Abloh grew up surrounded by urban culture, skateboarding and hip-hop. As detailed VogueHe was educated at a Catholic school, went to the University of Wisconsin to study Civil Engineering, and earned a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

As a teenager, he began to express his artistic side through music, and timidly began to work as a DJ: mixing tracks and reworking sounds and thus began to emerge as a designer.

At the show for his Fall / Winter 2020 collection for the Louis Vuitton fashion house during Men's Fashion Week in Paris, France, on January 16, 2020 (REUTERS)
At the show for his Fall / Winter 2020 collection for the Louis Vuitton fashion house during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, France, on January 16, 2020 (REUTERS)

In 2002, at the age of 22, became the right hand man of rapper Kanye West and in your stylist. Working alongside the rapper and songwriter, his role expanded from album cover design to set design and merchandising management for the label.

The trade magazine adds that, after her first experience in the fashion industry at Fendi, In 2012 he created his first Pyrex Vision brand, and just one year later, in September 2013, he founded his first big hit: Off-White.

Since then, Abloh was dubbed a ‘serial collaborator’. Why? Among the assembly of each collection, he I designed furniture -in collaboration with IKEA-, organized events and made capsule collections for different brands such as Nike, Levi’s, Jimmy Choo, Kith, the New York City Ballet and Sunglasses Hut.

His great success caught the attention of the LVMH group, and In 2018, he joined the French company as the creative director of the Louis Vuitton men’s line and became the first African-American creative director of a major French fashion house.

Abloh then pointed out that Louis Vuitton’s heritage and “creative integrity” were key sources of inspiration for him and that he would pay tribute to them, as well as try to bridge the gap with today.

In June of that year, her first show marked a new chapter in fashion history: the moment when the streetwear sneaked into the sacred salons of luxury brands.

The American was known to include political claims on his clothes. His first collection in front of Louis Vuitton saw the light in June 2018. In the gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris, some 3,000 people attended the event and hundreds more waited at the four entrances of the park to see the stars who attended the parade , including West and his then wife, Kim Kardashian.

Abloh then said he had fulfilled his dream and hoped to motivate others to pursue theirs: “You can do it too,” he wrote on Instagram after the show.

In September 2019, when he did not go out to say hello after a parade, that absence set off alarms. Then it was said that his doctor had recommended rest after diagnosing him with a “burnout”, that is, wear and tear due to overwork. At that time, he had not revealed that they had already detected a cardiac angiosarcoma.


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