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Celebrities react to the passion of fashion icon and pioneer Virgil Abloh who lost his private battle with cancer at age 41.

Louis Vuitton : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Menswear Spring/Summer 2019

Source: Chesnot / Getty

Yesterday the entire culture stopped as the passing of fashion pioneer Virgil Abloh was announced. He passed after a private battle with a rare aggressive heart cancer known as cardiac angiosarcoma. Virgil kept his battle private drawing parallels to actor Chadwick Boseman who privately battled colon cancer. And just like the late actor, Virgil’s passing came as a complete shock. Both stars were battling cancer at the same exact time in the photo below.

Virgil was a student of the school of Kanye West, fashion history, Hip-hop culture, and design. Virgil proved to brown and Black kids everywhere that we can take up space in traditionally white environments and excel without imposter syndrome. Virgil started out working for Kanye by helping on everything from his classic album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to guiding Ye’s creative content company DONDA. He went on to have success in his own right with Pyrex, Off-White, and several dozens of collaborations with the biggest brands in the world. In 2018 Virgil would make history becoming the first African-American menswear designer for Louis Vuitton and third ever at a major fashion house. This didn’t come without drama as this is something he and Kanye fought for and dreamed of while putting in the work. Naturally, Kanye felt conflicting emotions when a deal was pulled from him with the fashion house then later Virgil’s position was announced.

When Virgil debuted his first collection for Louis Vuitton Kanye was in the front row and as Virgil walked to close the show, he made his way over to Ye. Virgil and Ye shed tears in front of the world and shared a moment that changed everything about fashion going forward. Even if you didn’t like either of them you witnessed the come up of two Black men who fought to open doors in high-fashion for people of color when everyone told them it wasn’t possible and they succeeded and proved everyone wrong.

Virgil was in touch with the culture like no one else at his level and yet he was still accessible. He often responded to young designers, up-and-coming creatives, and anyone who caught his attention just to let them know they aren’t going unnoticed. Being easily accessible, he touched the lives of many and not just the rich and famous. After the announcement of his passing everyone in between sent condolences via social media. We’ve compiled a long list of love sent to Virgil and his family which you can view over the next few pages.

Hit the flip for more.

Aside from celebrity condolences, creatives Virgil inspired and influenced also weighed in on his passing. Yesterday everyone began sharing the inspiration he dropped off in their messages and Instagram DM’s and it really shows what separated him from everyone else. He was never a typical celebrity or too big to be reached and always gave people their flowers.

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