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  • Lacrystal Parker

Virgil Abloh, the visionary creator of Off-White and the head of Louis Vuitton men’s wear, died

article created by new york times click link to see original article Virgil Abloh, Path-Blazing Designer, Is Dead at 41 - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Mr. Abloh greeted the crowd at the Off-White spring 2019 men’s wear show in 2018.Credit...Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times


Virgil Abloh, the barrier-breaking Black designer whose ascent to the heights of the traditional luxury industry changed what was possible in fashion, died on Sunday in Chicago after a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer. He was 41.

His death was confirmed by his family.

The artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear as well as the founder of his own brand, Off-White, Mr. Abloh was a prolific collaborator with outside brands from Nike to Evian, and a popular fashion theorist whose expansive and occasionally controversial approach to design inspired comparisons with everyone from Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons.

Mr. Abloh transformed not just what consumers wanted to wear, bridging hypebeast culture and the luxury world, but what brands wanted in a designer — and the meaning of “fashion” itself.

For him clothes were not garments but fungible totems of identity that sat at the nexus of art, music, politics and philosophy. He was a master of using irony, reference and the self-aware wink (plus the digital world) to re-contextualize the familiar and give it an aura of cultural currency.

“Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” his wife quoted him as saying in an Instagram post. He believed deeply, she wrote, “in the power of art to inspire future generations.”

“Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said in a statement.

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