Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton director, Virgil Abloh, was a master of authentic expression

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Virgil Abloh greets the crowd during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on 20 June, 2019 in Paris, France. Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Virgil Abloh greets the crowd during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on 20 June, 2019 in Paris, France. Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton creative director, Virgil Abloh has died after battling a rare, aggressive form of cancer - cardiac angiosarcoma.

The fashion industry has lost a visionary and a fashion icon regarded as a custodian of the culture and whose creativity broke protocol. 

"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," an official statement from his Instagram profile says.

 
fashion, style icon, designer, legacy
Virgil Abloh is seen on 24 June, 2021 in Paris, France. Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Abloh influenced a number of rap album covers, including Kanye West’s Watch The Throne and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP and Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2.

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fashion, style icon, designer, legacy
Virgil Abloh attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue 

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His love for fashion, and particularly making the fashion space inclusive was most admirable. In the Instagram post below, he beautifully captures his intentional contribution to fashion, art, and heritage.

"When I walked into the men's Louis Vuitton studio that first day I told the team that were going to make history, listen to loud rap music and crucially have fun while we're doing it. Again for me, clothes are tools to tell stories with. They are essentially words that phrase sentences and make paragraphs. Ultimately we write books. Call us storytellers. Different covers obviously carry different significance," he wrote.

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His most recent work is LVxNIGO. In a tribute post, CEO of LVMH, Bernad Arnault says, "Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." 

fashion, style icon, designer, legacy
Gigi Hadid walks the runway during the Off-White Menswear Spring Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France. Photo by Peter White/Getty Images

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fashion, style icon, designer, legacy
Gigi Hadid and Virgil Abloh attend the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards at the Brooklyn Museum of Art  in New York City. Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Sources: Forbes

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