Idris Elba pays tribute to Virgil Abloh at The Fashion Awards 2021

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  • Virgil Abloh
    American fashion designer
  • Idris Elba
    Idris Elba
    Actor
Photo credit: Eamonn McCormack/BFC - Getty Images
Photo credit: Eamonn McCormack/BFC - Getty Images

Idris Elba has paid tribute to beloved fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, who passed away on Sunday (28 November 2021) at the age of 41 following a private battle with cancer.

Taking to the stage at The Fashion Awards 2021, the actor spoke of the designer’s talent and influence saying that "the fashion industry lost an icon and the world lost a legend". He also read the poem When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou.

A portrait of Virgil Abloh was displayed for the audience to see and Elba finished by saying “anyone who knew Virgil would know that we would want to celebrate tonight in honour of his life". He then dedicated the awards ceremony to the designer.

Photo credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff - Getty Images

In a statement released yesterday (28 November 2021) via the designer's personal Instagram account, his friends and family confirmed the tragic news, revealing that Abloh had been battling a rare, aggressive form of cancer for over two years.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend," the statement read. "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."

Despite undergoing challenging treatments, the 41-year-old continued to run his own fashion label, Off-White, and work as creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, as well as the many other projects he put his name to over the course of his illness.

"Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered", the statement continued. "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."

Tributes have flooded in from all over the world since the tragic announcement of his untimely passing.

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