Virgil Abloh, a well-known fashion designer known as stars such as Kanye West and Kid Cudi, died Sunday after a secret fight against cancer. He was 41 years old.
Abloh's death was announced in a post on his Instagram account, as well as in a tweet by LVMH, Louis Vuitton's parents' company, in which Abloh has been a male art director since 2018.
"We are shocked after this tragic news. Virgil was not only an intelligent designer, a visionary, but also a man of great soul and great intelligence," LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault said in a statement posted on Twitter.
A post on Abloh's Instagram account said he had been secretly battling a rare and aggressive cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma, which affects the heart.
"She has chosen to tolerate her war privately since her diagnosis in 2019, and has been treated for many challenges, all while assisting a few key institutions including fashion, arts and culture.
Abloh’s career made history in fashion when he became the first black art director to lead a French luxury house, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He also acquired a type of Off-White street goods, based in Milan. In addition, Abloh has long been Kanye West's creative director.
Abloh's costumes are on the rise this year after singer and rapper Kid Cudi wore them to "Saturday Night Live." Off-White made costumes in honor of the late artist Kurt Cobain.
"Virgil designed me a dress. I told her I wanted to show my love for Kurt [with a floral print] and this man did a great work of art. Thank you @virgilabloh ur a f ----- genius !! Love you man we did it !!!" Kid Cudi wrote at the time.
A statement from Instagram said Abloh was inspired to create a balance between art and design.
"He used to say, 'Everything I do is for my 17-year-old version,' which strongly believes in the artistic power of inspiring future generations," the statement read.
News of Abloh's death began trending on Sunday afternoon on Twitter.
"Virgil Abloh, who changed the fashion world, has died," fashion analyst Vanessa Friedman said on Twitter.
Dani Kwateng, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, said the news was "very sad."
"Her contributions to fashion have actually changed in many ways - both socially and privately. Thinking of her loved ones today. May she rest in peace," Kwengeng tweeted.
Some have noted similarities between the deaths of Abloh and Chadwick Boseman, one of the blacks who died last year after his private battle with cancer.
"Just a year later Chadwick, Virgil Abloh, another influential Black Army, was removed from us because of the private battle of cancer. The resilience of these men must have faced such difficult situations in complete peace, working to the end. It is sad," wrote Michael Cuby, editor-in-chief of the online magazine "them."
Abloh leaves his wife, Shannon Abloh; his children: Oowe Aloh and Gray Aloh; his sister, Edwina Abloh; and her parents, Nee and Eunice Abloh.