Off-White Founder Virgil Abloh Dies At 41

Today the world lost a creative visionary at the age of 41, as it was announced that Virgil Abloh had passed away after a private battle with a rare form of cancer. The man who conceived some of the most influential contemporary designs and sneaker collaborations of our time

A post on Virgil’s Instagram reads, “We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend.”

Virgil Abloh
Paris Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2019
©Myles Kalus Anak Jihem is licensed with CC BY-SA 4.0.

“For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma,” it continued. “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.”

Virgil Alboh (Right) with Takashi Murakami (Left)

Before setting forth on a fashion design career, Virgil Abloh studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

This is where he would meet rapper Ye at his internship with Fendi. He then went on to be appointed creative director of Ye’s agency DONDA in 2010. In 2013 Abloh founded the symbolic Off-White, a streetwear brand that shifted the momentum of culture. The creative intensity continued as Virgil collaborated with Paris’s Musée du Louvre to produce an exclusive collection to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death.

Collaboration is not a punchline… I only collaborate with the best in each category.

Virgil Abloh

The collaboration continued up next with IKEA and then sneakers connoisseurs favourite Nike to reconceive their most iconic sneakers embellished in his Helvetica inscriptions, certified with plastic trademark tag.

Off-White™ x Air Jordan 1 Chicago

In 2018 Virgil was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, unveiling his first collection during Paris fashion week. He also had a major retrospective of his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in the following year.

©Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” by jpellgen (@1179_jp) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Virgil’s faith in the power of arts and his dedication to the realm of artistic expression has been immense, raising $1 million to empower scholarship programs for young artists through his “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund. That open doors and creates pathways for more inclusivity in the world of art and design. 

R.I.P Virgil Abloh. You will be missed.

Virgil Abloh

September 30, 1980 – November 28, 2021

©2021 Virgil Abloh, Off-White, Myles Kalus Anak Jihem, J Pellgen