Frank Ocean pens poignant tribute to “hero” Virgil Abloh

The influential fashion designer and DJ passed away yesterday aged 41.

Frank Ocean has shared a poignant tribute to late designer, DJ and creative trailblazer Virgil Abloh, who died on Sunday (28 November) following a multi-year battle with cancer. Abloh was 41 at the time of his passing.

According to a post shared to the late designer’s Instagram page last night, he had “valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer” called cardiac angiosarcoma for over two years. The Off-White creator and artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton kept his diagnosis private and underwent “numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture”.

Following the news of Abloh’s death, Ocean took to Instagram to pay tribute. “In 2018, I believe it was, I called V and asked him how it was possible to play hundreds of shows a year and do numerous fashion collections a year and be a father and a husband and return EVERYONE’s texts with enthusiasm and emojis and encouragement and seemingly.. with ease,” Ocean wrote in an Instagram story posted to his Blonded account.

“I cannot remember how he responded verbatim but I’m sure it was quotable whatever he said,” Ocean continued. “He was always quotable. But the gist of his response was that he was interested in living and living to the maximum extent of his level… which proved to be Impossible today because he was BEYOND.”

Ocean then went on to discuss the relationship between his younger brother Ryan, who was killed in a car crash in 2020, aged 18, and Abloh. “When Ryan went to his prom you got him some pieces from your new collection at LV and he was GEEKed. Couldn’t get him to take it off,” said Ocean.

“When my brother passed I never said anything because it was way too much but he loved you and really looked up to you,” he added. “He was going to fashion school and everything. He wanted to be a designer.”

Ocean ended the statement with: “I know grief is love that you don’t get to express so this is an attempt at expressing it. Love you V. You’re a hero”.

A number of other artists, designers, celebrities and more have paid tribute to Abloh, who was renowned for merging fashion with pop culture and music. Read some of the tributes below.


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