by Melis Hafizoglu

Virgil Abloh, founder of global streetwear brand Off-White, has died of a private battle with cancer at age 41. It was revealed that Abloh had been fighting a two year battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma. 

While he began with designing album covers for big names in the rap industry, Virgil first entered the limelight with the debut of his brand Off-White in 2013. He began the brand with the mission to “elevate streetwear by adding an intellectual layer to it”. He maintained a clear vision of what his brand is- the style Abloh presents is very recognizable, with the quotation marks, zip ties, and capital lettering. He brought about a new era of streetwear, in which it is held in the same regard as luxury brands. Off-White also has created a name for themselves in the collaboration market, collabing with a range of brands from IKEA to Nike. Abloh was able to bring this brand up to a luxury level, giving streetwear a new position in the fashion industry with pieces from his collections selling out in seconds. 

In 2018, Abloh was named the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line. This was a major milestone in his career as he was one of the very few black designers at the top of a luxury brand. With this title came Virgil’s spotlight in the industry, he continued his collaborations with other famous brands such as SSENSE and even designed a US Open uniform for Serena Williams. Louis Vuitton held a celebration of Virgil Abloh’s life Tuesday, November 30, with a star studded guest list and a massive statue in remembrance of the designer. With such an accomplished career, society will not forget Abloh’s impact on the fashion industry.