Designer for Louis Vuitton, Off-White Virgil Abloh dies at age 41


Daniel Shin, Editor-In-Chief

Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton and founder of Off-White, died on Nov. 28, following a private two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma. The sudden death of the renowned 41-year-old was confirmed on his Instagram page.


“I first did not believe in Virgil Abloh’s death since there is a lot of misleading information online, but when I checked Instagram there were many posts about his death, so I was very shocked,” Aaron Kim (10), follower of Abloh, said. “It was very unexpected and saddening since none of his fans knew he had cancer.”


A celebrated multi-hyphenate, Abloh quickly rose to fame following the jumpstart of his brand Off-White. Developing a cult following, Off-White merged elements of luxury and streetwear, attracting entirely new consumers and fueling the popularity of hypebeast culture. In 2015, Off-White qualified as a finalist in the Louis Vuitton Prize for young designers, and just three years later, Abloh became Louis Vuitton’s first African American executive.


“One thing I really like about his [pieces] is how he can make very unique and special designs with simple styles,” Aaron said. “When scrolling through Instagram, I see a lot of people who take similar designs, so [Abloh] definitely inspired younger generations.”


Abloh’s works also extend beyond the fashion industry. While juggling his responsibilities in Louis Vuitton and Off-White, Abloh took interest in music, performing at the Lollapalooza festival and collaborating with various artists. Abloh served as the creative director for numerous singers such as Kanye West, designing countless album covers.


“Abloh was able to get a lot of famous artists, including Young Thug, to collaborate with him and appear in his fashion shows,” Henry Hatridge (10), avid fan of Abloh, said. “I would say that he is really good at promoting his company.”


Born to Ghanaian immigrants, Abloh redefined fashion and left a lasting legacy in many spheres of culture, making him a true role model for aspiring African American artists. Abloh made many efforts to help underrepresented minorities. In 2020, he founded the “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which he used to raise money and support young African Americans wanting to enter the fashion industry. 


“I believe he was inspiring for those in African American neighborhoods, where many people try to start their own brands,” Henry said. “He was not really well known, but he was able to grow tremendously and is an epitome of success.”