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Virgil Abloh, LVMH’s star designer and the most high-profile Black figure in luxury fashion, died on November 28 at age 41 after battling cancer for several years.
Abloh’s death sent shockwaves through the fashion world, where he is remembered not only for his influence on streetwear and sneaker culture with his brand Off-White, but also his success in revitalising Louis Vuitton after his appointment as head of menswear design in 2018. In July, LVMH bought a 60% stake in Off-White and gave Abloh a wider role, giving him the authority to create new brands beyond fashion.
“We’re all shocked,” LVMH Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault said. “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and a great wisdom.”
A post on Abloh’s Instagram account said that he had “privately” battled cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of cancer, since 2019.