It was an emotional farewell for the ground-breaking fashion designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear. The first African-American director at the top French fashion house, Abloh passed away at just 41 in late 2021, after a private battle with cancer.

Backdropped to a Tyler the Creator soundtrack, designs pushed the boundaries of gender norms and highlighted what a loss Abloh’s death is for both Louis Vuitton and the industry.

Born to Ghanian immigrants and raised near Chicago in the US, Abloh had no formal training in fashion design. With a background in civil engineering and architecture, he was an unlikely candidate in the fashion world. But after interning at Fendi alongside Kanye West, the pair collaborated and Abloh began to make a name for himself.

Influenced by the skate and DJ cultures in Chicago, and an international DJ in his own right (Abloh previously held a residency in Las Vegas), Abloh launched the successful luxury streetwear brand Off-White in 2013, before being asked to take on the role of artistic director at Louis Vuitton in 2018.

Always aspiring to make luxury relatable, Abloh’s creations were a fusion of streetwear and high-end fashion. Credited with challenging stereotypes and making the old-school, elite fashion house more relevant, Abloh’s shoes will be hard to fill.