Virgil Abloh death: Music world pays tribute after Off-White creator dies from cancer aged 41

The music and fashion worlds are mourning the death of influential designer Virgil Abloh, aged 41.

An announcement from LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate, revealed the Off White creator and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear had died from cancer, the diagnosis of which he had kept private.

“Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday 28 November, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years,” the statement said.

“My heart is broken,” Pharrell said in a statement from his social media accounts.

“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.”

“RIP Virgil, you did so much for all of us and showed me so much love early on,” UK artist AJ Tracey tweeted. “Thank you for everything, so sad.”

“Rest in peace Virgil Abloh. Solid human and big inspiration,” tweeted US producer Alchemist.

“Rest in absolute peace. Shocking. Thank you Virgil,” singer Kehlani wrote.

Abloh was hugely influential in the music world, particularly hip hop, and was cited as an influence by rappers including Lil Uzi Vert, Drake, Offset, Jaden Smith, Big Sean, Drake, Future, Young Thug and Kanye West.

He DJ’d at house parties through college, later playing internationally including in Ibiza and Las Vegas. In 2019, he collaborated with Pioneer to create two transparent consoles, which were displayed at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.

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He worked with a number of major artists, helping to create some of the most distinctive cover art in recent years, including Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, A$AP Rocky’s Long Live A$AP, West’s Yeezus, and Westside Gunn’s Pray for Paris.

In 2020, he designed the original artwork for late rapper Pop Smoke’s postumously released album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. However, the artwork came under criticism from fans, and a new design by Ryder Ripps was revealed a month later.

The official account for streaming service Tidal said its staff were heartbroken over “the monumental loss” of a “creative genius, visionary and icon”.

“RIP Virgil Abloh he was so inspiring and added so much to the art / fashion / music world. We’ll miss him so much,” said electronic group Louis the Child.


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