Louis Vuitton’s star designer Virgil Abloh has sadly died of cancer at age 41.

Abloh’s family released a statement via the designer’s Instagram account in which they said Abloh had been managing cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which a tumour occurs in the heart, for the last two years in private.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh,” the statement read. “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. 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.”

Abloh, a celebrated fashion executive who has been compared to the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, was also honoured with a statement by his employer, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) .

“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, said in a statement.

Our thoughts go out to Abloh’s family, including his wife Shannon Abloh and his children, Lowe and Grey.