On Sunday, Nov. 28, an official statement appeared on Abloh’s Instagram, announcing that the 41-year-old fashion pioneer, who was the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, had died of cancer following a private battle with the disease.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues,” the statement read. “For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.”
It continued, “Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations. We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life.”
Following the news of Abloh’s passing, his friends, colleagues, and fans mourned his loss on social media.
Pharrell Williams tweeted, “My heart is broken Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones you’re with the Master now, shine Folded hands, P.”
Louis Vuitton also addressed the news on Twitter, sharing an official statement from chairman Berard Arnault. “We are all shocked after this terrible news,” Arnault shared. “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.”
My heart is broken
Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius
your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever
Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones
you’re with the Master now, shine🙏🏾,
P— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) November 28, 2021