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Virgil Abloh, the American designer and founder of high-end streetwear label Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton, has died, according to a statement on his Instagram account.
Abloh was 41.
His social media account began with a “Thank you” message to friends and fans before expanding to a longer statement.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to you all, and I say thank you for the many gifts, blessings, and smiles you’ve given me,” the statement read.
“I am extremely lucky to have reached this point in my life. I love my family, and everyone I love.”
Abloh died of cancer of the esophagus, according to the statement.
Abloh founded Off-White in 2012 with high-end streetwear influences. It recently was featured in a three-year exclusive contract with men’s fashion powerhouse LVMH, the company behind Vuitton.
In a statement, Louis Vuitton said Abloh’s work would live on and that his talent “will be keenly felt by the company for years to come.”
The announcement was made on fashion week’s opening day by creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere.
Abloh got his first break when he styled Kanye West’s show for Louis Vuitton in Paris in 2015. In May last year, Abloh became creative director of women’s sportswear and shoes at Vuitton.
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Abloh began his career as a visual designer and a visual effects producer for Marvel Comics.