NEW YORK (AP) – Designer Virgil Abloh, a leading fashion specialist dubbed the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died of cancer. He was 41 years old.
Abloh’s death was announced Sunday by the luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and Off-White, a high streetwear brand Abloh founded in 2013. Abloh was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear.
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“We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a brilliant designer and visionary, but also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom, ”said Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH.
The Abloh family said in a statement to the designer’s Instagram account that two years ago, Abloh was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which a tumor occurs in the heart.
“Since his diagnosis in 2019, he has chosen to endure his battle in private, undergoing many challenging procedures, while managing several significant institutions that span fashion, art and culture,” the statement said.
In 2018, Abloh became the first black artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear in the legendary history of the French design house. Abloh, a first-generation American from Ghana whose seamstress taught him to sew, had no formal education in fashion, but had an engineering degree and a master’s degree in architecture.