Virgil Abloh 1980-2021

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Fashion designer, DJ and first Black Louie Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh died on Sunday (Nov. 28) following his private battle with rare cancer. At 41, news of the fashion icon’s passing shocked the culture to its core with everyone from Westside Gunn to Pharrell Williams to Drake mourning Abloh’s passing on social media. “My plan is to touch the sky 1000 more times for you…,” Drake wrote in an Instagram caption with a series of photos of Abloh and him. ”love you eternally brother thank you for everything.”

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After death, according to media outlets, the visionary who popularized fashion brands like RSVP Gallery, Prex Vision and Off-White and gave us some of the most memorable album covers of this generation discreetly fought a rare form of cancer for several years. “We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” shares a post from Virgil’s verified Instagram account. “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.”

Prayers and condolences from all over the world to the family, friends and fans of the Rockford, Illinois native poured into social media instantly following the news of the designer’s sudden passing. “Rest In Peace to a true creative genius, visionary, and icon. Thank you for the endless artistry and innovation you brought into the world; you inspired an entire generation. You will truly be missed,” tweets @emily2dor. 

Pharrell Williams, a longtime friend of Virgil, shared a heartfelt tweet with prayer hand emoji on late-friend to his 10.6 million followers on Twitter, that reads:

“My heart is broken Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones you’re with the Master now, shine.” 

Louie Vuitton issued an official statement about Abloh’s sudden passing on Sunday afternoon. In the announcement, LVMH acknowledges Abloh as a “genius designer,” “visionary,” and “a man with a beautiful soul.” Louie Vuitton Chairman Bernard Arnault writes:

“LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday, November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years.

We are all shocked after this terrible news. 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.”

Read more messages from stars around the world of music and fashion below.

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More and more farewells to Virgil Abloh from the biggest names in popular culture continue to pour into social media at press time. Fans await official statements from several well-known Abloh collaborators, like Asap Rocky, Kid Cudi and Jay-Z.

Abloh’s best friend Ye, formerly Kanye West, hosted a Sunday Service in his loving memory. On Sunday, Ye performed a 49-minute sermon that remembers the former Donda creative director’s friendship with the award-winning mogul. Watch the complete service below.

In honor of the visionary, streaming giant Tidal released a Check The Rhyme playlist dedicated to the designer, including 26 name-dropping tracks by Wale, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz and many more. Check out Virgil Abloh’s playlist — curated by Elliott Wilson — below.

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