The fashion industry was rocked on Sunday with the sudden news that famed fashion designer Virgil Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White and artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton, died at the age of 41 after a private two-year battle with cancer.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton released a statement from chairman and chief executive officer, Bernard Arnault, on Abloh’s death, stating: “We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom.”
Celebrities such as Pharrell Williams, Hailey Bieber, Cynthia Erivo, Drake and athletes such as LeBron James, Kylian Mbappé and Russell Westbrook, among many others, have shared touching tributes to Abloh on Instagram, talking about their friendships with the late designer and his impact on fashion and culture.
Williams, shared a photo of Abloh with the caption: “My heart is broken. Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius. Your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever. Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones. You’re with the Master now, shine.
“Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion, the way he looked at things inspired me deeply,” she wrote. “I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to have known him and worked with him, from walking on his runways to having him design my wedding dress and all the other amazing moments in between, I felt he was always rooting for me. He was someone who always brought life, charisma, love and fun to any situation, and every room he walked into. A once in a generation creative mind that is so rare and I’ll never forget his impact. We love you Virgil.”
Youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, shared a post on Instagram that spoke about a custom look the designer created for her that was inspired by his grandmother.
“What a loss — Virgil, your talent and soul will be sorely missed,” she wrote. “I count myself so privileged to have met you and to have worn such a beautiful piece by you designed in honor of your grandmother. I knew then I was experiencing the honor of wearing a designer whose work transcends both past and present. To rephrase something you once said, let us paint new pictures where the old ones have been erased.”
Scroll on for more celebrity tributes to Abloh.
RIP VIRGIL ABLOH 🕊
No one will forget the impact you had. God bless you my friend.
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) November 28, 2021
I wish we lived in a world where we could celebrate the living instead of celebrating them when they leave. Rest In Peace to my brother Virgil ! You were loved.
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) November 28, 2021