The fashion world lost a tremendous legend over the weekend.
Social media was rocked by the unexpected passing of Off-White designer Virgil Abloh on Nov. 28. The Chicago native died at the age of 41 from a rare cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma which causes tumors to develop in muscles or blood vessels surrounding the heart, according to Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
Fans and friends of the star took to social media to pay tribute to the inimitable fashion giant including his close friend and collaborator Kanye West who put on a stunning musical performance in honor of Abloh for his Sunday Service series.
During the emotional livestream performance, Kanye and his soulful choir sang a rendition of Adele’s “Easy On Me,” a song that appears on her new album “30.”
Kanye released a statement about Abloh’s passing on his website that read:
“In loving memory of Virgil Abloh, the creative director of Donda,” according to PEOPLE.
Kanye and Abloh first met in 2002 at the age of 22. He would later become a creative consultant for the “Good Music” label head, High Snobiety notes. The two worked on a number of designs for Kanye’s merch and album covers including 2011’s “Watch The Throne,” Ye’s collaborative hit album alongside Jay-Z. The duo later interned at Fendi where they learned the ins and outs of the fashion design business. Abloh eventually used that knowledge to spearhead his popular brand Off-White in 2012, a brand that seemingly intertwined the world of high fashion with the grungy youthful appeal of streetwear. Prior to his passing, the Ghanian designer served as the Men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton where he became the first Black person to work at the top of the French heritage house.
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On Nov. 28, a statement was posted to Abloh’s Instagram account revealing details about the designer’s untimely passing. According to the statement, the Pyrex Vision founder “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.”
The message continued:
“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.
We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life.”
Virgil leaves behind his wife Shannon Abloh and his two children Lowe and Grey Abloh. Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time.