Fashion designer Virgil Abloh dies of cancer at 41 | National News

FILE – Designer Virgil Abloh walks backstage ahead of his Off-White ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2019-2020 collection, which was unveiled Thursday, February 28, 2019 in Paris.

NEW YORK (AP) — Designer Virgil Abloh, a leading fashion executive hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died of cancer. He was 41.

Abloh’s passing was announced on Sunday by the luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and the Off-White label, the haute streetwear brand Abloh founded in 2013. Abloh was artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear.

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“We are all shocked at this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man of beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, said in a statement.

A statement from Abloh’s family on the designer’s Instagram account states that two years ago, Abloh was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer where a tumor occurs in the heart.

“He chose to endure his struggles privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments while helping several key institutions encompassing fashion, art and culture,” the statement read.

At Design Miami 2016, Virgil Abloh, creative director of Kanye West, debuted what he calls “a new vocabulary” for furniture design.

In 2018, Abloh became the first black artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton in the storied history of the French design house. Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American whose seamstress mother taught him to sew, had no formal training in fashion but had an engineering degree and a master’s degree in architecture.

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