Kanye West honored Virgil Abloh, his longtime friend and former creative director at the Donda creative agency, after news broke that the 41-year-old passed away on Sunday (Nov. 28), following a two-year battle with cancer.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the Sunday Service live stream commemorated the LVMH designer.
“In loving memory of Virgil Abloh, the creative director of Donda,” it read on the site.
West and Abloh, both Chicago natives, first met in 2002, the outlet reports, adding that in 2010, Abloh was named creative director at Donda.
During the 2018 Paris Men’s Fashion Week, the “Hurricane” rapper was emotional witnessing Abloh present his first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton at the garden of the Palais-Royal. The Off-White founder was hired as LV’s menswear artistic director, becoming the first Black designer to helm the French Maison.
An official statement posted by Abloh’s family about his tragic passing was shared on his Instagram account on the morning of Nov. 28. They explained that Abloh had been diagnosed with a “rare [and] aggressive” form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma, and chose to keep his diagnosis private in the midst of his successful career.
"Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for
greater equality in art and design," the statement read. "He often said, 'Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,' believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations."
"We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life," the statement concluded.
The luxury group LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, acquired a majority stake in Off-White this July to expand their successes together.
"I'm also honored to use this partnership to deepen my longstanding commitment to expand opportunities for diverse individuals and foster greater equity and inclusion in the industries we serve," previously shared. "This is an incredible new platform to take the disruption we've achieved together to a whole new level."
Virgil Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon Abloh, his children Loew Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh.
The team here at BET.com and BET Digital continues to offer our condolences to those mourning this sad loss.