Virgil Was Here

Mourning the Loss of Fashion’s Biggest Modern Icon

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On November 28, 2021, the world of art and fashion was shaken up and anguished by the tragic loss of Virgil Abloh, an artistic innovator most widely known for his executive roles in Louis Vuitton and Off-White.

     After privately battling a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma for two years, Abloh passed on at the age of only 41. He was survived by his long-time wife and childhood sweetheart, Shannon Sundberg, as well as their two young children Lowe and Grey.   

   Abloh’s mark in modern youth culture is undeniable, and extended far beyond merely fashion. Born in Illinois to Ghanain immigrants, he was the son of a painter father and seamstress mother, who taught him to sew in his teens. He learned to think outside the box at a young age, and his fierce entrepreneurial hunger attracted big names in fashion and music in no time.

   In the infancy of both their careers, Abloh ran into fellow Illinois native Kanye West at a local print shop. They quickly grew profound business and personal relationships, and learned to navigate their budding fame together. Through West, Abloh amassed an array of powerful celebrity connections, and was soon designing merchandise and album covers for superstars.

   On November 30th, 2021, many of these friends of Abloh were reunited at his final, posthumous Louis Vuitton show: one he had been perfecting for months. Complete with a beautiful light show and a bright red, Louis Vuitton-stamped hot-air balloon in the sky, Abloh’s memoriam show was complete with all the peculiarities that made Abloh who he was. In the dim night sky, anyone in Miami could read the bittersweet words, “Virgil Was Here.”

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