TRAGEDY struck the fashion community when LVMH announced the passing of famed designer, Virgil Abloh.
Virgil was known as a close friend and collaborator of fellow Chicago-native, Kanye West.
What was Virgil Abloh's relationship with Kanye West?
Virgil and Kanye began working with each other in the early 2000s, both of them being creatives on the rise in Chicago.
In 2002, Virgil graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering. According to Vogue, Virgil was rumored to have skipped his final critique in order to take a meeting with Kanye's manager at the time, John Monopoly.
After getting his Master's at a school in Chicago, Virgil went on to intern at Fendi alongside Kanye West in 2009.
They caught the attention of Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke, who once told the New York Times: "I was really impressed with how [Abloh and West] brought a whole new vibe to the studio and were disruptive in the best way.
"Virgil could create a metaphor and a new vocabulary to describe something as old-school as Fendi. I have been following his career ever since.”
In 2010, Virgil became the creative director of Kanye's creative agency, DONDA.
He then was the art director behind the album Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye, which earned him a Grammy nomination.
What is DONDA?
DONDA is Kanye West's creative agency, named after his late mother.
The company was founded in January of 2012, with Kanye making the announcement at the time via Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Kanye alleged DONDA would "pick up where Steve Jobs left off", operate as "a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers in a creative space to bounce their dreams and ideas" with the "goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford."
According to the DONDA Twitter account, they are "A Content, Experience & Product Company founded by Kanye West. Galvanizing creative thinkers".
DONDA works with artists on album and song covers, music videos, films, stage design, marketing, and print media.
Their website currently shows a blank gray background with the words "IN LOVING MEMORY OF VIRGIL ABLOH THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DONDA" written across the screen.
DONDA is also the name of Kanye's tenth studio album, released in August of 2021.
Has Kanye West said anything about the passing of Virgil Abloh?
Virgil Abloh passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2021, following a secret battle with a rare form of cancer known as cardiac angiosarcoma.
Kanye has yet to post anything on his social media accounts except for a link to the DONDA website, which features a tribute to the late Virgil Abloh.
A multitude of other celebrities have began to post tributes to the beloved fashion designer.
Pharrell Williams took to his Twitter account to honor Virgil, writing: "My heart is broken ... Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius ... your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever ... Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones you’re with the Master now, shine."
Idris Elba wrote: "Too soon Virgil. You will be missed from this world man."
Fellow designer Marc Jacobs commented on the Instagram announcement of Virgil's death, writing: "I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. May you Rest In Peace and Power dear Virgil."
Hailey Bieber, who was a close friend of Virgil's, shared a series of photos of them together, including images of her wedding dress which he designed.
"Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion, the way he looked at things inspired me deeply," she wrote.
"I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to have known him and worked with him, from walking on his runways to having him design my wedding dress and all the other amazing moments in between, I felt he was always rooting for me."
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