Virgil Abloh Passes Away at Age 41
Whether you hated or loved Virgil Abloh’s designs, he managed to achieve something that most people can’t: He evoked a feeling within you. An artist’s worst nightmare is for people to feel indifferent about their work, and that is something that Virgil Abloh never seemed to face. Working his way from a Chicago print shop to the Artistic Director to Louis Vuitton, Virgil’s sharp incline to the top echelon of fashion, culture, and footwear was no accident; He had something in him that only an equal level of genius could see in him in Kanye West, and the world needed to see it. It comes as no surprise that the two men in question were responsible for the most influential sneakers of the 2010s, both of whom changed footwear forever. Not only that, Virgil showed us what was possible for creators of color in a world not historically open to people like him. His innate talent and incredible work ethic took him to places people only dream of — and he kept that same manic attitude right until the end.
For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. 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. 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.
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.
Vale Virgil Abloh
September 30, 1980 – November 28, 2021