By Sasha Lapides, CNN • Updated 26th October 2018
Sad news out of New York: Virgil Abloh, the creator of Off-White, has died.
The 41-year-old has been the creative director of the fashion label since 2013. He announced his retirement in April 2017, but most recently said he would return to the brand in an unspecified capacity.
In a message on Instagram, Abloh’s wife Alasia told the world that “his passion to do something unique with fashion ignited a movement and he leaves behind an endless legacy.”
Abloh has also recently created a lifestyle brand under the Off-White umbrella, VirgilAbloh.com. The site sells watch and clothing designs by watch designer Patek Philippe.
Born in New York in 1984, Abloh attended Parsons the New School for Design before working in the merchandising department at Louis Vuitton. From there, he joined Supreme — an urban streetwear brand owned by Japanese retail giant Fast Retailing — as a creative director and later as a creative director at Off-White.
He also recently created a personal website, ichange.com.
The fashion industry has been devastated by Abloh’s death. Many of his Twitter followers described him as “an intellectual mind,” while others praised his love of mentoring young designers.
An alumnus of Parsons, Abloh had a particular ear for his alma mater, teaching at the fashion school for five years before moving to London and eventually New York, where he established his own label.
Following his retirement, Abloh said he would return to Off-White as his “artist soul rises again and has a very special place in the soul of Off-White.”
A public memorial for Abloh is planned for later this year.