Virgil Abloh passed away on Sunday at the age of 41. According to a statement posted on his personal Instagram, the famed fashion designer, who served as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear since 2018, was fighting a private battle with cancer for over two years.
“Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma,” the statement read. “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.”
“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” it continued. “Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
In addition to his work in the fashion world, Abloh was also a DJ and designed some iconic album covers including Kanye West‘s My Beautiful Dark, Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus and Watch the Throne, as well as albums from Kid Cudi (they also collaborated on the Kurt Cobain-inspired dress the rapper wore during his recent performance), A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert and Pop Smoke, among others.
When the news broke, artists took to social media to mourn the loss and pay tribute to Abloh.
“My heart is broken,” wrote Pharrell. “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”
“rest in absolute peace. shocking. thank you Virgil,” Kehlani tweeted.
“Rest In Power Virgil Abloh” wrote Maxwell.
See more tributes to Virgil Abloh below.
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
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) November 28, 2021
Rest In Power Virgil Abloh ? pic.twitter.com/feqV2LpX1V
— MAXWELL (@_MAXWELL_) November 28, 2021
Virgil Abloh ? so devastating. RIP
— BANKS (@hernameisBANKS) November 28, 2021
So sad to hear about passing of Virgil Abloh an inspiration to so many and of course an inspiration me. Sending my love to his loved ones
— FINNEAS (@finneas) November 28, 2021
Very very sad to hear of Virgil Abloh’s death. Truly an incredible inspiration to so many people, including myself. I always played up the fact he went to college in Madison. He was so so kind, humble but hungry and easy to talk to. What a huge loss.
— blobtower (@blobtower) November 28, 2021
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) November 28, 2021
Wow. Just heard about #Virgilabloh Man. What a loss. God be with his family. Hate to see kids left fatherless.
— Lecrae (@lecrae) November 28, 2021
Thank you Virgil. ????. pic.twitter.com/PR107YGrgS
— OMARION (@Omarion) November 28, 2021
Rest in peace Virgil Abloh. Solid human and big inspiration. Man. ??
— Alchemist Type Beat (@Alchemist) November 28, 2021
Virgil man. Shit.
— Certified ?uestover (@questlove) November 28, 2021
There’s no fucking way ! Damn wtf !!!
Can’t believe I’m writing this bro… RIP my brother Virgil dog , wtf !
— MADE-IT (@MikeWiLLMadeIt) November 28, 2021
— VINCE STAPLES (@vincestaples) November 28, 2021
rest in peace to Virgil man, truly a very kind human being. this is terrible
— Aminé (@heyamine) November 28, 2021