Virgil Abloh, fashion's highest profile Black designer and the creative mind behind Louis Vuitton's menswear collections, died on Sunday of cancer.
Abloh, who was American, had worked to transform the French luxury brand since being brought in as the men’s artistic director in 2018.
His arrival marked the marriage between streetwear and high-end fashion, mixing sneakers and camouflage pants with tailored suits and evening gowns.
His influences included graffiti art, hip hop and skateboard culture – a style embraced by Louis Vuitton as it sought to attract younger customers.
In July of 2021, parent company LVMH expanded his role to include launching new brands and partnering with existing ones in a variety of sectors beyond fashion.
LVMH also bought a 60% stake in Abloh’s Off-White label, which it folded into the parent company.
Abloh, who was 41, had been battling “a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma”, according to a post on his Instagram page.
In a statement, LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault said (quote), “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom."