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  WINDY CITY TIMES

PASSAGES Designer Virgil Abloh dies at 41
2021-11-29

This article shared 2509 times since Mon Nov 29, 2021
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Designer Virgil Abloh—the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection and the founder of the Off-White label—died at the age of 41 after privately battling "a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma," a statement read on his Instagram on Sunday, Nov. 28, according to NBC Chicago.

He was also big in the world of music, and as a prolific DJ, played at music venues around the world. As a longstanding collaborator of Kanye West, now known as Ye, he worked as a creative director for the rapper's design agency Donda, and designed some of Ye's album covers, per CNN. As an artist and furniture designer, he collaborated with Mercedes Benz on an art concept car; and IKEA on a coveted range aimed at people moving into their first homes.

British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful called him "a giant among men," on Instagram, writing that Abloh always worked "to open the door to art and fashion for future generations, so that that they—unlike himself—would grow up in a creative world with people to mirror themselves in."

Abloh, the son of Ghanaian immigrants, was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois. He earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a master's degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology; a foundation that would later influence his broader practice.

Abloh was named among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2018, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented an exhibition of the work of the "genre-bending artist and designer"—"Figures of Speech"—in 2019.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend," a message posted to the designer's Instagram account stated, NBC Chicago noted. "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."


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