Yesterday, the fashion industry was in shock. Creative Virgil Abloh passed away at just 41 years old. This is devastating news. The world has lost one of its brightest minds.

I never imagined I would be writing this post yesterday. In the morning, I woke up to one of the saddest and most heartbreaking pieces of news from the year, not just for the fashion industry but the whole world. Virgil Abloh had passed away. It honestly never crossed my mind that this would happen in the near future. I was hopeful that Abloh and his creativity would be with us for many years to come.

The creative director, born in Chicago in 1980, died at the age of 41 after fighting a two-year battle against a rare and aggressive form of cancer: cardiac angiosarcoma. Virgil decided to fight in private because he did not want his illness to alter the perception of his work. He wanted the world to continue seeing him with the same eyes. His spectacular work redefined not only fashion but art, music, architecture, and film. He worked to interconnect each industry and bring unique projects to life. His vision mixed the DNA of luxury brands with that of streetwear brands, and he successfully launched not one but two clothing brands: Pyrex Vision (2012) and Off- White (2013). Virgil Abloh was one of the brightest minds of the last decade.

“Designer,” “stylist,” “DJ,” “producer:” there are many words to describe Virgil’s legacy, but the most important are “generous,” “compassionate,” and “inspiring.” This is what he represented for new generations of talented young creators. He showed us that it is possible to achieve your dreams and goals, to be different and still be successful. His brief career was full of extraordinary achievements, like his appointment in March 2018 as the artistic director of the menswear line for Louis Vuitton (becoming the first African American designer to head one of the most iconic fashion brands in the world). He brought streetwear into the spotlight, and made it a new favorite for luxury brands. This genius of the modern age taught us that the world belongs to those who break the rules and create new universes.

We could spend hours praising Virgil Abloh’s accomplishments, but the most important thing to emphasize is that he truly wanted to democratize fashion. He wanted to show the world that we can all achieve our dreams and that, just like he did, reach the stars. “What I do has the instructions embedded into it, so that kids can look at the garment and think, ‘Hey, I can do that too,'” he commented in an interview with the website Highsnobiety. A true icon and role model–that was and will forever be Virgil Abloh.

Beyond titles and accomplishments, Virgil was a husband, father, son, and friend. Anyone who was fortunate enough to meet him knows that he was one of the kindest and most considerate people in the industry. You could feel his positivity and talent simply by being in the same room.

Yesterday we lost a great designer, but also a great human being. We will always remember you, dear Virgil.

XO

Sira

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