Yesterday, the tragic news of Virgil Abloh's passing shook the world. The designer had privately been battling an aggressive form of cancer since 2019, and following his death, friends and admirers of Abloh have shared their own messages, images, and appreciation online.
It is clear that Abloh touched the lives of so many people from all walks of life. He was a special force that many were lucky to know. Among those sharing tributes is Kanye West, a long-term collaborator with Virgil as well as a lifelong friend.
The two Chicago natives have changed the fashion industry drastically since they worked at Fendi together in 2009, and have since continued to work on projects together, including West's agency DONDA, that Abloh became the director of in 2010.
Together, Ye and Virgil have paved the way for Black men in fashion, design, and industries that previously didn't welcome change.
This weekend, Kanye dedicated his Sunday Service performance to the late designer, and a tribute is still live on the website. Throughout the service, his choir sang songs from DONDA, as well as the rapper's previous albums. They also performed a cover of Adele's "Easy on Me" which had been rewritten slightly to reflect the religious nature of the service.
"In loving memory of Virgil Abloh, the Creative Director of DONDA," reads the homepage.
Virgil Abloh's influence echoes through the room as I write this. On my table is his book Something's Off, on the shelf next to me stands two glass bottles from his collaboration with Evian, and in the hallway are a pair of Off-White™ x Nike Air Jordan 1s. Virgil was a cultural pioneer that changed fashion as we know it and redefined a whole industry.
Our thoughts are with Abloh's wife and children, and all those affected by his tragic passing. He will be greatly missed.