The world is in shock with the news that fashion designer Virgil Abloh passed away at 41. Tennis players loved wearing his Off-White clothes, but he became really known in tennis when he collaborated with Nike on a number of Serena Williams’ Grand Slam dresses.
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Venus Williams was the first to break the news when it comes to WTA players, as she tweeted three heartbreak emojis and wrote: “Omg I can’t believe Virgil Abloh is gone. Noooo.” Venus also retweeted LVMH’s statement which reveals that Abloh had been privately battling cancer for several years and passed away on Sunday, November 28.
On Instagram Venus made a long, emotional statement:
I’m devastated by the passing of Virgil Abloh …. I love him so much. I always watched everything he did so closely and it inspired me to be better in everything I do. His collections literally brought me to tears because they were so connected so beautiful and so inspiring. I never got a chance to meet him and I wanted to at this year’s Met Gala. It was so festive there this year and the first time anyone had been out in a long time and we didn’t cross paths even though I saw him from the distance but I was caught in a conversation and when I looked up he was gone. I thought I had more time, I had no idea he didn’t have more time…
It was so brave how he continued his life work through the absolute most difficult of circumstances. I’m amazing how he continued no matter what to pursue what he loved and to bring opportunity to all, to open doors and elevate the worlds of fashion, design and art. It gives me even more inspiration as I prepare for next years tennis season coming off of a few years of challenging injuries. I have a feeling everything I do and experience next year will be for Virgil and inspired by Virgil….
I can’t believe that he’s gone. It’s surreal, it feels like he’s still here. I love him, always have and always will.
Virgil Abloh’s official Instagram account explains that he battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma, since 2019. 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.
Elina Svitolina expressed her sadness on Twitter: “Speechless… Rest in peace, Virgil.” Naomi Osaka and Donna Vekic retweeted the news about Virgil’s passing.
Serena Williams is yet to share her emotions online. She was the one who worked with the American designer closely and actually it turns out that their collaboration happened just before he was diagnosed with cancer. Virgil designed her outstanding black-and-white outfit for Roland Garros 2019, including a legendary cape-jacket that included French words “mother”, “champion”, “queen”, and “goddess”.
Serena and Virgil first cooperated during the tennis icon’s controversy-filled 2018 tennis fashion year, when the famed designer and Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director created two versions of a memorable tutu dress with a single long sleeve and nude colorblock at chest for the US Open.