American designer Virgil Abloh, artistic director of the Louis Vuitton men’s collection and founder of the Off-White label, has died at the age of 41. This was communicated by the LVMH group, which owns the luxury brand. He was fighting a “private battle” against a cardiac angiosarcoma: his illness, in fact, had not been made public. Abloh leaves behind his wife Shannon and two children.
Who was Abloh
Abloh was born in 1980 in Chicago, into a family of Ghanaian origins. He studied at the University of Wisconsin and earned his BA in Civil Engineering. He later completed a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before entering international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009, she worked in Chicago street fashion.
From Pyrex Vision to consecration
Abloh created his first label in 2012, Pyrex Vision. The following year he founded Off-White, a luxury streetwear brand. The rise began in 2015, when his brand was one of the finalists of the prestigious LVMH award. The group, aware of Abloh’s talent, has signed an agreement to become the majority shareholder of Off-White. Not only that: the American designer, in 2018, was appointed artistic director of the Louis Vuitton men’s collections. Strongly committed to the affirmation of African American cultures, he was named by the magazine Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018.
“He had a beautiful soul”
“We are all in shock at this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, but also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault remarked in a statement.