His unique approach to design inspired comparisons to artists including Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. For him, clothes were totems of identity.
Virgil Abloh, the barrier-breaking Black designer whose ascent to the heights of the traditional luxury industry changed what was possible in fashion, died on Sunday in Chicago after a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer. He was 41.
His death was confirmed by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury group that bought a majority stake in Mr. Abloh’s Off-White brand this year.
The artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear as well as the founder of his own company, Mr. Abloh was a prolific collaborator with outside brands from Nike to Evian, and a popular fashion theorist whose expansive and occasionally controversial approach to design inspired comparisons with everyone from Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons also a pupil of Kanye West.
Mr. Abloh transformed not just what consumers wanted to wear, bridging streetwear and the luxury world, but what brands wanted in a designer. Here we send our condolences to his family and the Abloh community.
Rest In Peace Virgil Abloh