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Virgil Abloh, menswear designer for Louis Vuitton and founder of Off White, dies after a private battle with cancer

NEW YORK – Designer Virgil Abloh, a top fashion executive hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died of cancer. He is 41 years old.

Abloh’s death was announced on Sunday by luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and the label Off-White, the high-street streetwear brand Abloh founded in 2013. Abloh is artistic director Art for menswear by Louis Vuitton.

“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil is not only a genius designer, a visionary, he is also a man with a beautiful soul and great intellect. “, Bernard Arnault, president and chief executive officer of LVMH, said in a statement.

A statement from Abloh .’s family on the designer’s Instagram account said that for the past two years, Abloh has been battling a heart hemangioma, a rare form of cancer that includes a tumor in the heart.

“He has chosen to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing multiple rounds of challenging treatment, all while running a number of key organizations including fashion, art and culture,” the statement read.

In 2018, Abloh became the first Black art director of menswear at Louis Vuitton in the French designer’s long history. A first-generation Ghanaian-American whose mother was a seamstress who taught him to sew, Abloh has no formal fashion training but has an engineering degree and a master’s degree in architecture.

Abloh, raised in Chicago, is often considered a Renaissance man in the fashion world. He flirts as a DJ. But in a short time, he has emerged as one of the most famous designers in the fashion industry. Abloh calls himself “a producer”. He was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2018.

In 2009, Abloh met Kanye West – now known as Ye – while he was working at a screen printing shop. After he and Ye interned at LVMH brand Fendi together, Abloh was Ye’s creative director. Abloh was the art director for Ye-Jay-Z’s 2011 album “Watch the Throne,” which was nominated for a Grammy.

Abloh’s work with West serves as a blueprint for future cross-border collaborations, combining highs and lows. With Nike, he teamed up with his label Off-White for a line of crazy-feeling sneakers remixed with a variety of Helvetica styles and fonts. Abloh also designs furniture for IKEA, refillable bottles for Evian boxes, and Big Macs for McDonald’s. His work has been exhibited at the Louvre, the Gagosian and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.

Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh and his children, Lowe and Grey.

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https://abc7ny.com/virgil-abloh-off-white-cancer-cardiac-angiosarcoma/11277631/ Virgil Abloh, menswear designer for Louis Vuitton and founder of Off White, dies after a private battle with cancer

Huynh Nguyen

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