Virgil Abloh honored by Lenny Kravitz, BTS: 'You made an indelible mark'

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A bald man with a beard posing in a black T-shirt
Fashion designer Virgil Abloh attends a 2018 event for Nike in London. (Vianney Le Caer / Associated Press)

Actors, musicians, authors and fashion brands are among those saluting visionary designer Virgil Abloh, who died Sunday at age 41 after privately battling a rare form of heart cancer.

Lenny Kravitz, Riz Ahmed, Colman Domingo, the Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, BTS and Brockhampton's Kevin Abstract paid tribute to Abloh, the trailblazing founder of luxury fashion label Off-White and the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend," Abloh's official Instagram page posted Sunday.

"For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma," the statement added. "He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.

"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."

Off-White and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy released their own statements on social media, praising the revered creative for his "genius," "beautiful soul" and "great wisdom."

On Twitter, rapper and "Sound of Metal" actor Ahmed thanked Abloh for "all you did to support so many & how you pushed us to reimagine what’s possible." Rock musician Kravitz shared an image of Abloh modeling an Off-White hoodie.

"Rest in Power," Ahmed tweeted. "[G]one too soon but your legacy lives on. Stretched culture & the changed the game."

"Rest in Power, King," Kravitz echoed. "You made an indelible mark on this world."

Rapper Abstract of the hip-hop collective Brockhampton hailed Abloh as "one of the most important [artists] of our times," who "changed the culture forever."

"I am heartbroken," Abstract tweeted.

Another major fashion empire, Gucci, praised Abloh as an "immense inspiration" with a Twitter statement extending its "most heartfelt condolences" to the designer's friends and family. Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon Abloh, his sister, his parents and his two children.

"He will be deeply missed though his vision will live on through the trails that he blazed throughout his career," Gucci tweeted.

Singer and record producer Williams remembered Abloh as "a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius" while expressing his support for the late artist's loved ones.

"My heart is broken," Williams tweeted. "Your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever. ... You're with the Master now, shine."

See how others reflected on Abloh's death and legacy below.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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