Virgil privately fought a rare, aggressive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma for more than two years. Having been diagnosed with cancer in 2019, he underwent several challenging treatments while leading many major fashion, art, and culture organisations.
A multidisciplinary artist and designer, Virgil spoke freely about his passion for art and design and that his purpose was to create pathways for greater equality in the, fashion and design industry and believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.
"Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself"
As a DJ, artist, and furniture designer, he redefined the idea of the modern fashion design and started designing clothes after graduating from architecture school in 2012. In his first design for Ralph Lauren, a screenprint was applied to a rugby shirt that created a postmodern art stunt/fashion piece hybrid.
He seamlessly brought fashion into new realms by creating fusion collections with brands like Nike, Ikea, Perrier, and Mercedes-Benz.
He told the Observer in 2019,
"When I showed during fashion week, people said, 'That's not fashion."
A year after launching Off-White, he became Vuitton's first black designer and head of menswear design and today he is one of the most widely recognised Black designers today.
"We are all shocked after this terrible news," said Bernard Arnault, LVMH's chairman and chief executive. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend."