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Off-White Founder, Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Virgil Abloh Dies at Age 41

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2021

FILE - This is a Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 file photo of Virgil Abloh poses for photographers upon arrival at the Nike Celebrates The Beautiful Game event, in London, Paris based fashion house Louis Vuitton has named American Virgil Abloh, the founder streetwear brand Off-White, as its new menswear designer. Abloh will become, alongside Balmain’s designer Olivier Rousteing, one of only two persons of color in charge of a major fashion house. The urban styles of Illinois-born Abloh that are shown in Milan have attracted a legion of fans including rapper Kanye West. (AP Photo/Vianney Le Caer/File)
AP Photo/Vianney Le Caer/File

LVMH announced Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh died Sunday at the age of 41.

"We are all shocked after this terrible news," the announcement from LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault read. "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 sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend."

LVMH @LVMH

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. <a href="https://t.co/CytwZLvSFu">pic.twitter.com/CytwZLvSFu</a>

The announcement also noted Abloh had cancer for the past several years.

Off-White collaborated with Nike a number of times under Abloh's direction, including with the Jordan Brand. He also partnered with Nike and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago to renovate a local basketball court.

Abloh was raised in Illinois and also partnered with Nike to help create the NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center to help give back to the community and provide more opportunities for children to participate in sports and other activities.

TMZ described Abloh as a "revolutionary designer" and noted he was the first Black man to hold the position of Louis Vuitton artistic director.

Abloh's personal Instagram account also released a statement on his death, explaining he "valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019."

Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon, their two children, his sister and his parents.