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The fashion and celebrity world is honoring Virgil Abloh‘s incredible life and legacy.
The beloved designer, who founded the label Off-White and served as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, died at the age of 41. In a statement shared on his Instagram page on Saturday, Nov. 28, it was revealed that he had been privately battling “a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma” since 2019.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” a message read. “He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.”
According to the post, the designer was “undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.”
Following the news about Virgil’s unexpected death, celebrities, models and fashion designers expressed their heartache over his loss. Keep on reading to see the moving tributes A-listers shared.
Gigi Hadid: “I am heartbroken by the loss of my dear friend, and a friend to the world, Virgil Abloh. He was 1 of 1. His kindness and energetic generosity left a lasting impression on every life he touched— he made everyone feel seen and special. He will be deeply missed, cherished, and celebrated by me and all the people and industries that have been lucky enough to work around & know the true supernova behind this man…”
She continued, “I picture him now like our Mickey Mouse .. forever adored, forever magical, forever guiding us with that special Virgil FUN; I’m sure that’s how he wanted to be remembered, but still it will never be the same without him in the room. You will continue to inspire me every day, V. I feel blessed and honored by every moment. Rest Easy, my friend. You are so loved. You were the difference. As we always said.. ‘See you somewhere, soon.’ Sending my deepest condolences, light, and strength to Shannon, their kids, and his whole family.”
Hailey Bieber: “Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion, the way he looked at things inspired me deeply. 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.”
Kris Jenner: “I’m so so saddened and devastated to hear about the passing of our dear friend Virgil Abloh. I’m sending all of my love and prayers to his beautiful family. You are an angel @virgilabloh and we love you.”
Justin Timberlake: “What can you say when a force like @virgilabloh is taken too soon? You gave the world so much, in so little time. And created with intensity… knowing better than the rest of us that life is short, but anything is possible. I’m honored to have known you. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.”
Winnie Harlow: “RIP to a visionary and icon who helped push the culture forward and open doors and break down barriers, who made the next generation of creatives feel anything is possible.”
Orlando Bloom: “@virgilabloh one of the kindest souls, with a wisdom and curiosity to match his creative genius. His heart was as pure as his reach was far and he will live on as his vision taught us that anything is possible when you your [sic] dreams are as big and clear as his. Love and respect and prayers to his beloved’s.”
Diplo: “Not gonna write something sad here because in 41 years you were here you changed the world / culture more than anyone I know. You already lived 100 lifetimes for what you accomplished and you did it on your own terms. [heart emoji] you forever. No one is gonna break your scoring record.”
Tracee Ellis Ross: “VIRGIL ABLOH. This is a devastating loss to culture and fashion. What an inspiration and a creative force.”
Maluma: “F–K CANCER. We lost another LEGEND.”
Cynthia Erivo: “A true creative, a visionary, a dreamer, an example of impossible possibilities. Rest well Virgil.”
John Mayer: “When I heard the terrible news that @virgilabloh had passed, I sat in silence and thought about him for a good while. The word that kept announcing itself was ‘delight.’ He delighted the world with his art. It would have been all too easy to hide behind the inherent stinginess of ‘limited edition’ culture, but Virgil found a way to bring everyone along on the ride, and did so by remaining generous, accessible and supportive to everyone around him, his millions of fans included. To be that constant a creative force while retaining one’s humanity is an ongoing effort, and Virgil remained true to that effort. It’s going to be hard to reconcile how someone that vital could be gone. Rest In Peace, Virgil. We knew a genius.”
Too soon Virgil. You will be missed from this world man.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) November 28, 2021
Idris Elba: “Too soon Virgil. You will be missed from this world man.”
Victoria Beckham: “A true inspiration in so many ways. Rest in peace @virgilabloh. Sending love and light to your beautiful family. We will all miss you so very much.”
Stella McCartney: “It is with such a heavy heart that I send my deepest sympathy to Virgil’s family. His wife and babies, he worshiped you, his family at work and all that knew and loved him. My time knowing you was brief, but you hit me hard with a bolt of deep inspired impact. True talent and a desire to bring a better meaning to the world of fashion and design. You will be missed.. on so many levels… rest in peace and fly high… you are and will always be a star with grace and beauty.”
Drake: “My plan is to touch the sky 1000 more times for you…love you eternally brother. thank you for everything.”
Yara Shahidi: “A disrupter and innovator in the truest sense. You showed us the potential of art that centers Collaboration & Community. grateful to have been in your orbit. Rest In Peace.”
Tyga: “Rest in paradise bro. you had so much more to give and left to do on this earth. Your vision and influence will live forever.”
Megan Rapinoe: “You changed the world, Thank you. Rest In Peace Virgil. Sending love to your family.”
Venus Williams: “I’m devastated by the passing of @virgilabloh …. I love him so much. I always watched everything he did so closely and it inspired me to be better in everything I do. His collections literally brought me to tears because they were so connected so beautiful and so inspiring. I never got a chance to meet him and I wanted to at this years @themetgalaofficial. It was so festive there this year and the first time anyone had been out in a long time and we didn’t cross paths even though I saw him from the distance but I was caught in a conversation and when I looked up he was gone. I thought I had more time, I had no idea he didn’t have more time…”
She continued, “It was so brave how he continued his life work through the absolute most difficult of circumstances. I’m amazing [sic] how he continued no matter what to pursue what he loved and to bring opportunity to all, to open doors and elevate the worlds of fashion, design and art. It gives me even more inspiration as I prepare for next years tennis season coming off of a few years of challenging injuries. I have a feeling everything I do and experience next year will be for Virgil and inspired by Virgil. I can’t believe that he’s gone. It’s surreal, it feels like he’s still here. I love him, always have and always will.”
Beyoncé: “It is with great sadness that I send my condolences and love to the Abloh family and his friends. We will forever honor you, Virgil. Thank you for inspiring an entire generation.”
Amanda Gorman: “What a loss—Virgil, your talent and soul will be sorely missed. 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. Rest in power king.”
Gucci: “We would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Virgil Abloh, an immense inspiration to us all both as a designer and as a person. He will be deeply missed though his vision will live on through the trails that he blazed throughout his career.”
Off-White: “Off-White, New Guards Group and Farfetch are devastated to share the news of the passing of Virgil Abloh on Sunday, November 28th. Davide De Giglio and Andrea Grilli, ‘Virgil was a genius, a visionary but most of all he was family. There are no words to describe the loss that his passing leaves in our lives. His legend, his love and his spirit will remain with us forever. Thank you for changing our lives, Virgil. Rest in power, brother.’ Our thoughts go out to Shannon, Grey, Lowe and all the Abloh family.”
Louis Vuitton: “LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday, November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years. Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, said, ‘We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of his loved ones on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.’”
Bella Hadid: “Im at a loss…He was someone to everyone. That was the magic power he held. He made every person he came across feel special in whatever way he possibly could. Even when the world felt sad, he brought laughter and color and beauty. The way he made a positive impact on anything he touched, and always pushed for his culture/the world is the reason why he was an angel on earth and one to so many. The most beautiful warrior soul. I can’t believe this.”
She continued, “You broke boundaries and made everything your own. You shared your love infinitely. The way your brain worked was beyond anything, and the way you did every single thing in life for your family, friends, and for the better…We’re gonna miss you a lot V. You really saw me and supported me on every level. As you did to so many of us. An ethereal light. You always inspired to keep pushing, work hard and be kind. No matter what. I’m thinking about, sending love and prayers to his beautiful Shannon, their kids, and the rest of the Abloh family. I’m devastated. You will be so missed and cherished V. ‘FOR INFINITY..’ Fly high my Libra brother. I know you’re watching over the world now. I love you for life.”
Olivier Rousting: “I can’t believe it ,I am in shock. I knew you for twelve years even before me being creative director at Balmain. You always brought so much love , lights and talent to this world. You are definitely part of legends of our generation. You will stay forever in our heart and in the history of Fashion for your talent , your vision and your kindness. R.I.P genius.”
Joan Smalls: “Your presence will forever remain with us all. The way you saw the world, so bright and full of life. It feels surreal. I am so honored to have witnessed your creativity and spirit. Thank you for the doors you’ve opened to the minds ignited by your humility and sheer genius. Safe journey Virgil. My deepest condolences to his family. May they find peace and comfort.”
Kendall Jenner: “i can’t believe i’m writing this. if you had the privilege of knowing Virgil, you were one of the lucky ones. he was the kindest, most positive, humble, joyful, and full of light person i have ever known. he had the most wonderful way of making you feel so special. his genuine smile would warm your heart. to battle his illness privately perfectly explains the type of man he was, he never wanted anyone to worry about him. we have lost a dear friend. no words do my feelings justice at this very moment, but what i can say is that i am absolutely heartbroken. for his family, his kids, his wife, and anyone who cared for him deeply. V taught me and all of us a very important lesson, although he knew he had only so long, he was bright, he was kind & he was full of love. we all need a little bit of Virgil in us. he leaves us with his influence, to create and change the world. you did just that Virg. our angel here on earth, is now above us. i love you V!!! i will miss you V. i am blessed to have been touched by your energy. i know you’re setting all the best vibes up there. rest peacefully and powerfully beautiful Virgil. till next time.”
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