Virgil Abloh Has Died at Age 41, Celebrities Pay Tribute to Designer

He was battling cancer.

Kendall Jenner (L) and Virgil Abloh attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Image credit: Getty/John Shearer)

Virgil Abloh, creative director of Louis Vuitton and creator of Off-White, has died at age 41. The sad news was announced on his official Instagram on Nov. 28.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He 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, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.

"For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.

"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. He often said, “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.

"We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life."

Tributes immediately poured in from Abloh's many friends in the fashion industry and beyond.

"Your broke the mold and took hot that seat blessed got to see and be with you in Qatar .. i was a proud to walk for you and work with you," wrote Naomi Campbell.

Fellow designer Marc Jabobs commented, "I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. May you Rest In Peace and Power dear Virgil."

Kendall Jenner dedicated a post to Abloh on her personal Instagram, writing, "if you had the privilege of knowing Virgil, you were one of the lucky ones. he was the kindest, most positive, humble, joyful, and full of light person i have ever known. he had the most wonderful way of making you feel so special. his genuine smile would warm your heart."

Abloh notably designed Hailey Bieber's wedding dress, and the model honored him in a touching caption. "Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion, the way he looked at things inspired me deeply," she wrote. "I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to have known him and worked with him, from walking on his runways to having him design my wedding dress and all the other amazing moments in between, I felt he was always rooting for me."

Gigi Hadid wrote, "His kindness and energetic generosity left a lasting impression on every life he touched— he made everyone feel seen and special. He will be deeply missed, cherished, and celebrated by me and all the people and industries that have been lucky enough to work around & know the true supernova behind this man."

Justin Bieber, Edward Enningful, Drake and Justin Timberlake are just some among many celebrities to dedicate a few words to Abloh's talent and character. All agree that we lost a bright star far too soon.

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author whose work has appeared in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, HelloGiggles, SheKnows, Metro, Fabulous, Nicki Swift, POPSUGAR, Alma and more. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.