Off-White Founder Virgil Abloh Dies at 41

Tributes have since poured in from artists like Drake, Bon Iver and Frank Ocean

BY Kaelen BellPublished Nov 29, 2021

Virgil Abloh, menswear designer for Louis Vuitton and founder of streetwear brand Off-White, passed away this weekend after a private battle with cancer. He was 41. 

The news was shared on Abloh's Instagram account with a post reading:

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.

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.

Abloh created designs for various artists and celebrities, and he's also responsible for some of the past decade's most iconic album art, most notably for Kanye West — Abloh designed the artwork for Yeezus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne and 808s & Heartbreak

Since the unexpected announcement of his death, tributes have been pouring in from artists like Drake, Bon Iver, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Frank Ocean, who shared a rare public message remembering Abloh on his Instagram.

On his Instagram Stories, Ocean wrote:

In 2018 I believe it was I called V and asked him how it was possible to play hundreds of shows a year and do numerous fashion collections a year and be a father and a husband and return EVERYONE's texts with enthusiasm and emojis and encouragement and seemingly.. with ease. I cannot remember how he responded verbatim but I'm sure it was quotable whatever he said. He was always quotable. But the gist of his response was that he was interested in living and living to the maximum extent of his level… which proved to be Impossible today because he was BEYOND.

I'll miss you. When Ryan went to his prom you got him some pieces from your new collection at LV and he was GEEKed. Couldn't get him to take it off. When I went to Miami and you played a set on the beach in 2016 you played White Ferrari—a song with no drums or bass anywhere to be found lol—and started a sing along. When I played you demos of shit I was working on or showed you Homer way before it was ready you put the battery in my back. When my brother passed I never said anything because it was way too much but he loved you and really looked up to you. He was going to fashion school and everything. He wanted to be a designer. My family was proud of you like you were our family. I know grief is love that you don't get to express so this is an attempt at expressing it. Love you V. You're a hero.

See the full post announcing Abloh's passing below. 

A post shared by @virgilabloh

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