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Trailblazing Fashion Designer Virgil Abloh dies of cancer at 41

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Virgil Abloh, the artistic director for Louis Vuitton menswear and the founder and CEO of fashion house Off-White died at 41 years old after a private battle with cancer. 

The social media account of the brand and his own social media made the official announcement of the sad news this week. 

“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,” Abloh’s Instagram read. 

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Una publicación compartida de @virgilabloh

 

During his career, he collaborated with recognized brands from Nike to Evian. He was a pioneer in the fashion world, serving as the first Black artistic director to lead Louis Vuitton menswear, just one of two people of color leading a major brand. 

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Abloh was born in Illinois to Ghanaian immigrant parents. He held Abloh a civil engineering degree from University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master’s in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. 

His fashion career started with an internship at Fendi with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, which sparked a longtime collaboration with the rapper. Later, among many brands, he worked with Nike, partnering with hiw own Off-White brand to launch sneakers; designed furniture for IKEA; made the Big Mac cartons for McDonald’s; and designed refillable bottles for Evian. 

Abloh was married to Shannon Abloh; and left behind his children, Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh; his sister, Edwina Abloh; and his parents, Nee and Eunice Abloh.

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