Fashion world mourns loss of Louis Vuitton men's artistic director Virgil Abloh

He was once named international designer of the year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards.

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      An award-winning designer has died at the age of 41 after developing cancer.

      Virgil Abloh had been the men's artistic director for Louis Vuitton since 2018.

      “We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom," Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH, said in a statement. "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”

      Abloh also founded Off-White in 2013 and was its artistic director. LVMH bought controlling interest in the company in July.

      The LVMH statement noted that Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, and graduated with a degree civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He went on to earn a master's degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

      Among the prizes that he's won include the British Fashion Awards "urban luxe" honour and international designer of the year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards.

      In 2019, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago presented an exhibition of his work.

      Video: Watch this interview with Virgil Abloh on his creative connection with Christo.