Jack Carenza - November 29, 2021

Iconic Hip-Hop Fashion Designer Virgil Abloh Dead at 41

Decorated designer and hip-hop fashion icon Virgil Abloh died on Sunday, November 28th  at the age of 41. A secretive bout with a rare, destructive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma, left family, friends, and the fashion community devastated.  Abloh’s death was confirmed by separate social media posts according to his two main businesses, Off-White, and Louis Vuitton.

The success of Virgil Abloh was etched in the fabric of hip-hop culture.  A trained architect, Abloh’s fashion career began with an internship at Fendi, where he collaborated directly with Kanye West.  This partnership led to the formation of the Off-White brand and created a relationship between designer and hip-hop deity that remained intact to the day of Abloh’s death.  Kanye was among many mourners, taking to a livestreamed event Sunday to share his commemoration; “In loving memory of Virgil Abloh, the creative director of Donda.”

Amongst many decorations and accomplishments, in 2018, Abloh became the first black artistic director at Louis Vuitton, where he oversaw men’s wear, which in part earned his recognition as one of the 100 most influential people in the world according to TIME Magazine.

Abloh’s family took to social media to commemorate his life on Sunday:

Virgil Abloh left an iconic visual imprint on hip-hop culture, designing album covers for artists including Kanye, Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Pop Smoke, 2 Chainz, Pusha T and more.  Additionally, he was responsible for directing some of the most recognizable music videos of the time, from A$AP’s Fashion Killer to Lil Uzi Vert’s XO Tour Life.  Complex wrote a detailed account of Abloh’s musical influence in 2020.

Abloh also was quite a successful DJ, performing live at a variety of prominent events. He played international tours and was a resident DJ at Wynn Las Vegas’s XS nightclub in 2019.

Abloh’s impact on the fashion world does not need to be stated, but his influence on hip-hop culture runs just as deep.  Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon and his children Lowe and Grey.


by Jack Carenza