Renowned fashion designer Virgil Abloh dies aged 41

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Virgil Abloh, was the artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear, has passed away after battling cancer for years.

Abloh, whose parents immigrated to the US from Ghana, was the first black American to become the creative director of a top French fashion house.
Abloh, whose parents immigrated to the US from Ghana, was the first black American to become the creative director of a top French fashion house.
(Benoit Tessier / Reuters Archive)

Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, has died at the age of 41 after battling cancer for several years.

The top US fashion designer died on Sunday, the fashion and luxury house’s French owners LVMH announced.

“We are all shocked by 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 said in a statement.

The group said he had been “battling privately” against cancer for several years.

His untimely death at the peak of his career sent shockwaves across the globe. Tributes poured in from rival design houses but also actors and sportspeople for a man seen as a deeply humane visionary.

‘King of luxury streetwear’

The king of luxury streetwear, Abloh had established himself within a few years as one of the most sought-after designers in the world.

As the first black American creative director of a top French fashion house, Abloh’s trademark was a style reflecting street culture with sneakers and sweatshirts.

He created his first label, Pyrex Vision, in 2012, and enjoyed successful collaborations with the likes of Nike, Jimmy Choo and Moncler.

He was also behind Off-White, a luxury streetwear brand which won a following through its eye-catching branding before evolving towards more “couture” creations.

Abloh has addressed both environmental and social issues in his work with Louis Vuitton, with anti-racist and anti-homophobia messages at his January show in Paris.

He said earlier this year he planned to use his partnership with LVMH “to expand opportunities for diverse individuals and foster greater equity and inclusion in the industries we serve”.

Abloh transcended the fashion world. He was one of a handful of fashion designers who had a close following well beyond the industry and was a celebrity name in his own right.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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