Tributes from the fashion industry poured in after the family of Off-White founder Virgil Abloh announced his passing on Sunday, November 28.
The creator had been battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer in private for more than two years.
âHe has chosen to wage his battle in private since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing many difficult treatments, while leading several important institutions that span fashion, art and culture,â the statement said.
Since starting out in fashion interning at Fendi in 2009, Abloh has pursued countless projects over his 12-year career and has worked with many high-profile personalities over the past decade.
After collaborating with IKEA and Nike, and designing album covers for Jay-Z and Kanye West, he made history as one of the few black designers to run a French fashion house when he was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton in 2018.
âThrough it all, his work ethic, endless curiosity and optimism have never wavered,â his family said.
âVirgil was motivated by his dedication to his craft and his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design.
âHe would often say, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ deeply believing in the power of art to inspire future generations.
Here are some tributes paid to the creator.
In a tribute posted on Instagram, Arnault described Abloh as “a visionary” and “a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom”.
“The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sadness, and we all think of those close to them after the death of their husband, father, brother or friend.”
Gigi Hadid, a friend of Abloh who posed for Off-White, described the designer as “one of the few.”
âHis kindness and energetic generosity left a lasting impression on every life he touched – he made everyone feel seen and special,â she wrote in an Instagram post.
The model shared several photographs of the pair together, and one of the designers after a Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week, 2019.
âI will miss him deeply, be cherished and celebrated by me and all the people and industries who have been fortunate enough to work and know the real supernova behind this man,â she said.
âI imagine him now as our Mickey Mouseâ¦ forever with us, forever adored, forever magical, forever guiding us with that special FUN Virgil; I’m sure that’s how he wanted him to be remembered, but it will never be the same without him in the room.
Bella Hadid, Gigi’s sister and model colleague, has also often been seen wearing Abloh’s designs.
In a tribute, she said the designer was “the finest warrior soul.”
Sharing a reel of photographs with the designer, including a Facetime screenshot and one of the two entwined, Hadid said Abloh was âan ethereal lightâ who will be âmissed and cherishedâ.
âHe made everyone he met feel special in every way he could. Even when the world felt sad, it brought laughter, color and beauty, âshe wrote.
âThe way he positively impacted everything he touched and always pushed for his culture / the world is why he was an angel on earth and one of many. The most beautiful soul of a warrior.
âYou’ve always inspired you to keep pushing, working hard, and being kind. Anyway, âshe added.
In a tribute posted to her Instagram on Sunday, Kendall Jenner said those who knew Abloh “were one of the lucky ones.”
âHe was the nicest, most positive, humble, joyful and full of light person I have ever known,â she said.
âHe had the most wonderful way to make you feel so special. Her genuine smile would warm your heart. Battling his illness in private is a perfect explanation for the type of man he was, he never wanted anyone to worry about him.
She also shared a photo of herself with Abloh at the 2018 Met Gala, which she attended wearing a custom Off-White jumpsuit.
“V taught me and all of us a very important lesson, even though he knew he had little time, he was brilliant, he was kind and he was full of love.” , she said.
âWe all need a little bit of Virgil in us. He leaves us his influence to create and change the world.
Cindy Crawford’s daughter and model Kaia Gerber also paid tribute to Abloh on Instagram.
âIn a world where smiles are too rare and cuteness even rarer, there was you,â she wrote, alongside two black and white photographs of the couple.
“With your laughter and your light and your positivity.” I was looking at you when I felt like everything was turning and somehow you were still making him calm down, âshe said.
âYou have seen people, and through your art, you have given them the courage to be themselves. Thank you for everything you have taught me. Taught us. You have changed the world.
The editor-in-chief of British Vogue said Abloh “always worked for a bigger cause” and changed the fashion industry.
âVirgil believed that anything was possible for humanity, if only we could tear ourselves away from unconscious prejudices and norms and reclaim the imaginations we had when we were children,â he wrote under a photo of the designer.
âHis accomplishments will not only live on. They will continue to evolve, as we are only seeing the beginning of its impact on the creative industries and the surrounding world.
The fashion designer shared a photo of Abloh, writing that she “will be greatly missed”.
âA true inspiration in so many ways. Rest in peace @virgilabloh. Send love and light to your beautiful family, âshe said.
Beside a photo of the embracing couple, the model said Abloh “will never be forgotten” and “will continue to inspire so many people every day.”
âThis man has done so much for so many people. He lived his life for creation and for others in so many ways. I just hope that with his decision to face this battle in private, he felt and was surrounded by all the love in the world and the people close to him, âshe said.
The Italian fashion designer shared a photo of herself with Abloh and model Naomi Campbell, writing that “the world has lost a fashion superstar”.
âAn innovator. A creator for the history books. I think of all your loved ones on this tragic day, âshe said.
Dior’s artistic director described Abloh as “one of the nicest people you can meet.”
“Lots of good times spent traveling the world and hanging out in hotel rooms, working the soil and leafing through Japanese magazines, laughing and talking about ideasâ¦ my thoughts to Shannon, the kids and the rest of his family, âhe said in a statement. post on Instagram.
âRest in peace and power dear Virgil. My sincere condolences to your loved ones – your family, friends and colleagues, âJacobs wrote on Instagram.
“Gone way too soon.” Thank you for everything you have given us.
The British designer said Abloh was a “star with grace and beauty”.
âHis wife and babies, he adored you, his family at work and everyone who knew and loved him,â she said.
âMy time knowing you was brief, but you hit me hard with deeply inspired impact, real talent and a desire to bring better meaning to the world of fashion and design. “
The model, who wore a custom Off-White wedding dress to marry Justin Bieber in 2019, said Abloh had “completely changed” her outlook on street style and fashion.
âI will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to have known him and worked with him, from walking his catwalks to having him design my wedding dress and all the other amazing moments in between I felt. that he was still rooted for me, she said.
âHe was someone who always brought life, charisma, love and fun to every situation and room he entered. A unique creative spirit in a generation that is so rare and I will never forget its impact.
Eva Chen, fashion manager at Instagram, said she would remember Abloh as “kind”, “generous” and “funny.”
Along with a reel of photographs and videos of the couple, she revealed that they first met after Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, seated them next to each other.
âWe talked about our kids, opening doors for others, matcha tea, everything,â Chen wrote.
“He once ‘accidentally’ posted a picture of me in my pajamas and my crazy hair (testing an Instagram filter we were doing together) and I reminded him of it for years and we always laughed about it.”
âI will always remember him as, yes, a visionary but also kind, generous and funny. He always wanted to help children make their dreams come true.
The editor-in-chief of In the style The magazine said Abloh was “the most open and enthusiastic person.”
âAll he wanted was to create, and how he did it. When I started to In the style magazine, he made a t-shirt for my first cover that said IN on the front and STYLE on the back, âshe said.
âIt was incredibly generous and supportive, and this is the spirit with which Virgil has continued throughout his successful career. May he leave behind lessons of kindness and relentless inspiration from which we can only learn. “