Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Virgil Abloh Passes Away at 41 

Virgil Abloh, a former Rockford resident, passed away Sunday afternoon. His death was confirmed in a heartfelt post on his Instagram account.  The fashion innovator is best known for his role as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton Menswear, collaborating with Nike to redesign classic silhouettes, and for his friendship with Ye’, (formerly known as Kanye West).

The Instagram announcement addressed the pain Abloh endured but also honored him for his contribution to art and clothing. Stating, “through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design”. 

It was revealed that he suffered a private battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in 2019 and received treatment going forward. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the cancer causes a tumor to form on or inside the heart and affects blood flow to and from the heart. As a result, the rest of the body is damaged.

Meanwhile, the luxury seamster still managed to maintain his own brand, Off-White, and provide Chicago with two illustrative exhibits within that same year of his diagnosis. Abloh and his team at Louis Vuitton hosted a wondrous  display of mens clothing in Fulton Market. At the same time, pieces of thought-provoking sculptures dominated rooms at the Museum of Contemporary Art for Abloh’s “FIGURES OF SPEECH” exhibit.

His trailblazing work is a partially result of his time spent studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology for a Master’s Degree in Architecture. Abloh 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.


Contributing Writer, David Pierce is an entertainment reporter from Illinois. Find him on social media @DaveFlyP on Instagram and @DaveFlyP7 on Twitter.

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