The great master of art, fashion and design, Virgil Abloh, has died at the age of 41. The founder of Off-White and head of menswear at Louis Vuitton died on November 28 after a low-key battle with a rare form of cancer.
A leader in many fields, Alboh has been credited with transforming the fashion industry, with his high fashion designs for athletics and streetwear setting the tone for the style of a generation.
âEveryday objects, a pair of socks, a t-shirt, can all be transformed into haute couture using the intellect. It’s something that has as much of an impact as Duchamp saying a urinal is a fountain, âAbloh told Artnet News in an interview in 2018.â And I think anything that is done after that can to be seen in a different light. âCulture itself can be viewed in a certain way. “
Abloh is survived by his two young children and his wife Shannon, who posted a tribute on his Instagram account. The statement explained that he was diagnosed two years ago with an aggressive and rare cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma, and that he chose to keep the diagnosis private as he was undergoing numerous treatments while simultaneously running several important institutions covering the area. fashion, art and culture.
âThrough it all, his work ethic, endless curiosity and optimism have never wavered,â the statement read. “Virgil was motivated by his dedication to his craft and his mission to open doors for others and to create pathways for greater equality in art and design.”
Born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, Abloh studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before completing a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Her fashion education came from her mother who worked as a seamstress and taught her how to sew and make clothes. In July of this year, Abloh was promoted to service all brands at the parent company of Louis Vuitton, the fashion titan. LMVH, by acquiring a 60% stake in Off White, making him not only the first black man to lead a major department of the brand, but the most powerful black executive in the company.
“Virgil was not just a genius designer, a visionary,” said Bernard Arnault, collector and president of LVMH in a statement. “He was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom.”
Regarded as an inspiring pioneer, Abloh’s legacy spans all creative disciplines and upon news of his death shocked tributes poured in from the worlds of film, fashion, art and design.
Artist Theaster Gates simply posted a photo of himself, Abloh and Kanye West. West met Abloh at the age of 22 and recognized his talent early on. They hit the road together and Abloh continued to work at DONDA, West’s incubator, before founding Off-White, the company that started as a concept project and grew into an international brand that broke down barriers. between streetwear and haute couture. Most recently, the pair worked together on Ye’s sneaker collaboration at Louis Vuitton.
Hans Ulrich Obrist posted a warm photo of the two of them together and a quote from Abloh, as well as a 2017 written message from the late designer: VIRGIL WAS HERE. Abloh collaborated with designer Ben Kelly in the play Ruin, who recreated a legendary nightclub at Store X, 180 The Strand during Frieze 2017, and his acclaimed MCA Chicago exhibit âFigures of Speechâ was presented at ICA Boston and the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. âFigures of Speechâ is currently on view at the Qatar Fire Station until March 31, 2022. In light of Abloh’s unexpected passing, MCA Chicago invited the audience to share in its tributes to the creative power.
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