The fashion world was in mourning yesterday as news broke that the artistic director of Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh had died.

The 41-year-old shot to fame as Kanye West's creative director but later made history as the first African-American to lead Louis Vuitton.

His family revealed the star had been privately battling a rare form of cancer - cardiac angiosarcoma - for two years.

Virgil was diagnosed in 2019, but chose not to make the news public.

In a statement on his Instagram account read: "We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend.

The designer leaves behind two children (

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Getty Images)

"He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.

"For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. 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."

Virgil was also the CEO of the Milan-based label Off-White and amassed a huge celebrity following.

Supermodel Gigi Hadid shared a number of photos of her and Virgil on her Instagram page saying: “I am heartbroken by the loss of my dear friend, and a friend to the world, Virgil Abloh. He was 1 of 1.

Gigi Hadid said she was heartbroken by Virgil's loss (

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Corbis via Getty Images)

“His kindness and energetic generosity left a lasting impression on every life he touched — he made everyone feel seen and special.

Hailey Bieber also paid tribute to the star, who designed her dress for her wedding to Justin Bieber.

She wrote: “Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion, the way he looked at things inspired me deeply.

He designed Hailey's wedding dress

"A giant among men" (

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Getty Images for Qatar Museums)

“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."

British Vogue editor Edward Enninful said Virgil "changed the fashion indutsry" and was “a giant among men”.

Kanye made Virgil the creative director of his agency Donda and posted on the brand's website: “IN LOVING MEMORY OF VIRGIL ABLOH THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF DONDA.”

Virgil was best known for his work with Louis Vuitton and he joined them as a creative director in 2018.

Kanye paid tribute to the Donda creative director

He said at the time: "It is an honour for me to accept this position. I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times."

He started his fashion career with Fendi in 2009, completing an internship with Kanye. The pair then collaborated together, which lead to Virgil creating the company Off-White.

While Virgil was was often labelled as one of the fashion industry's most influential designers, he was also a DJ and an artist, and had degrees in civil engineering and architecture.

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