The Loss Of A Legend

Ellie Sheller

The whole world is mourning the loss of such a rare, talented, amazing human being, Virgil Abloh. Abloh, who passed away on November 28th, 2021 due to a rare form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma, was best known for being the founder of the iconic brand, Off-White. He also was the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. Virgil was born September 30, 1980 in Rockford, Illinois from two Ghanaian immigrants. He married his longtime girlfriend, Shannon Abloh, who he met in high school. The couple have two children, Lowe and Grey Abloh, who are just 4 and 5 years old. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then went on to study architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After working at an architectural firm for two years, he dropped architecture for fashion. Since the early 2000s, Abloh has also been a collaborator with Kanye West. He even designed the covers of the albums Yeezus and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and more recently Virgil led the artistic direction for Kanye’s album Donda. He’s also designed many album covers for artists such as A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, and Big Sean. Kanye paid tribute to Virgil in his Sunday Service Choir, and stated on the website for Donda “IN LOVING MEMORY OF VIRGIL ABLOH THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DONDA”. Many other people such as Drake, Pharrell, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, and Questlove made tributes to him on social media. Gigi Hadid said in her post, “I picture him now like our Mickey Mouse.. forever with us, forever adored, forever magical, forever guiding us.”


   Virgil Abloh was a barrier breaking designer, who inspired a whole new generation of fashion visionaries. He accomplished so much in the little time he was able to create. Virgil showed his first collection with Louis Vuitton at the 2018 Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. The first well known person to wear Abloh before this collection was Rihanna. Playboi Carti, Steve Lacy, A$AP Nast, Dev Hynes, and Kid Cudi all walked the runway for Abloh’s debut show. He’s even collaborated with IKEA and made furniture such as cabinets, rugs, coffee tables, and chairs. He also made a custom Off-White gown and veil for Hailey Bieber’s wedding day. In 2020, Abloh established the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund. He raised $1 million for these scholarships, which will be managed by the Fashion Scholarship Fund to assist Black students. In conclusion, Virgil Abloh was an extremely important figure in the fashion community, and there is no question that his work will inspire and continue to contribute to future generations.