(This November 28th story corrects title of Nina Garcia to reflect she is current, not former Editor in Chief)
(Reuters) – Virgil Abloh, fashion’s highest profile Black designer and the creative mind behind Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections, died on Sunday of cancer, Vuitton’s owner LVMH said.
Following are reactions to his death.
ZADRIAN SMITH, STYLIST, IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“Thank you for being such an incredible expander for all of us black boys who thought it would never be possible to exist at the luxury level of the fashion industry. I still remember your first show for @LouisVuitton and how much it shifted the culture, a culture for so many years that was void of colour.”
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, ACTRESS, IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“VIRGIL ABLOH. This is a devastating loss to culture and fashion. What an inspiration and a creative force.”
WILGLORY TANJONG, CAMEROONIAN DESIGNER OF ANIMA IRIS HANDBAGS, IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“As a Black designer in overwhelmingly white luxury spaces, Virgil Abloh’s existence was so resounding that it paved the way for other Black designers like myself. And for that, I am forever grateful.
“As I reflect on his passing, I think about how momentous of a life he lived. In African culture, and certainly in the Ghanaian culture from which Virgil’s roots lay, they don’t grieve of life lost but instead celebrate a life well lived. Virgil inspired millions with his God given talent. He lived out his purpose. That alone, is the greatest blessing.
“May he rest in power and may his legacy live on.”
AL-MAYASSA BINT HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI, QATAR MUSEUMS CHAIR, IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“The world has lost a creative genius. @Virgilabloh was in Doha only two weeks ago to open his latest exhibition, Figures of Speech @dohafirestation. His generosity, kindness, innovation and appeal are only a few words I can use to describe the visual memory I will always keep of him. A boy from Ghana who conquered the world of creativity through his interdisciplinary approach — pushing innovation to newest levels. I hope you will be inspired by his latest exhibition in Doha. The time he spent with the youth talking to them about his early beginnings will no doubt forever echo in their minds. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
ALTON MASON, MODEL WHO HAS WALKED IN LOUIS VUITTON FASHION SHOWS, IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“king, i’m heartbroken & at a loss for words. All is can say is thank you Virgil. Thank you for changing this world & inspiring us all. Thank you for trusting & believing in me. Your legacy is eternal & you’re in our hearts forever. I love you Virgil.”
KIM JONES, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DIOR MEN IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“So sad to hear about the passing of dear Virgil, one of the kindest people you could meet, many great times spent travelling the world and hanging out in hotel rooms working the floor and going through Japanese magazines and laughing and talking about ideas … my thoughts to Shannon and the children and the rest of his family.”
FASHION DESIGNER DONATELLA VERSACE IN AN INSTAGRAM POST:
“Virgil, I am lost for words. The world has lost a fashion superstar. An innovator. A creator for the history books. I am thinking of all your loved ones on this tragic day. Love, Donatella.”
ELLE MAGAZINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF NINA GARCIA ON TWITTER:
“You left us way too soon Virgil. Your creativity, your infinite sense of curiosity, your love for design, your impeccable work ethic and your enormous generosity shaped a creative universe that challenged old misconceptions about how fashion should establish a dialogue with other disciplines. Your understanding of fashion bridged a gap, attracting a new audience that revered your designs.”
FASHION HOUSE GUCCI ON TWITTER:
“We would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Virgil Abloh, an immense inspiration to us all both as a designer and as a person. He will be deeply missed though his vision will live on through the trails that he blazed throughout his career.”
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher, Heather Timmons, Arriana McLymore and Mimosa Spencer; Editing by David Gregorio)