Virgil Abloh, the Louis Vuitton artistic director and founder of the Off-White fashion label, has died from cancer aged 41, it has been announced.
Revealing the news, the French fashion house’s parent company LVMH described Abloh as a “genius” and a “visionary”.
The US designer came to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director but later made history as the first African-American to lead Louis Vuitton.
Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon, and their two children.
A statement on his Instagram page described him as a “fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend”.
Abloh was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma – a rare, aggressive form of cancer – in 2019, but did not make the diagnosis public.
“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,” the statement read.
“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity and optimism never wavered.”
Abloh was often hailed as one of the most influential designers in the fashion industry but was also a DJ and an artist, and had degrees in civil engineering and architecture.
LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault said: “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 sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”