How we’ll remember Virgil Abloh

Following the news of the Off-White founder's passing, we share tributes to the genius who changed how we dress forever.


It’s news that has shocked the fashion world and beyond: Virgil Abloh, the trailblazing designer, has died at the age of 41 from a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Having come to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director, he launched his cult brand Off-White, and became the first African American to lead Louis Vuitton.

Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, said in a statement: “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.”

Virgil Abloh

Honouring the work of a ‘visionary’

Tributes for Virgil have poured in from across the world.

British Vogue editor, Edward Enninful, wrote on Instagram: “Virgil Abloh changed the fashion industry. Famously prolific, he always worked for a greater cause than his own illustrious career: to open the door to art and fashion for future generations, so that they - unlike himself - would grow up in a creative world with people to mirror themselves in.”

Fashion designer Donatella Versace also paid her respects on Instagram: "The world has lost a fashion superstar. An innovator."

Model and friend Bella Hadid also used the platform to share her grief at Virgil’s passing: “You broke boundaries and made everything your own. You shared your love infinitely. The way your brain worked was beyond anything , and the way you did every single thing in life for your family, friends, and for the better .. . We’re gonna miss you a lot.”

“Thank you for inspiring many generations to come by being a first,” tweeted musician Thundercat. “Your work has changed so many lives. We love you. Rest In Peace legendary king.”

Rest in Power actor and rapper Riz Ahmed tweeted. “Gone too soon but your legacy lives on. Stretched culture & the changed the game. Thank you for all you did to support so many & how you pushed us to reimagine what’s possible.”

A multi-hyphenate creative whose legacy will live on

Known mostly for his work in fashion, Virgil was also an author, DJ and artist – and had degrees in civil engineering and architecture. His influence spread to other creative spheres and he famously worked on the album cover for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s joint record, Watch the Throne, as well as Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He was also well known for his philanthropic work. One of his last acts was raising $1 million to support Black fashion students through his own Post Modern Scholarship Fund last year. He said: “I’ve always been passionate about giving the next generation of students the same foundation for success that was given to me.”

Virgil is survived by his wife and two children.

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