Tyler, the Creator has penned a tribute to groundbreaking designer, DJ and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, who died over the weekend at the age of 41 following a private battle with cancer.
“Sir Abloh was a true geek about things. Passion seeped through everything he did. Whether a random set of songs we’ve never heard or what pantone the wing of a plane should be, he always meant it,” Tyler wrote in an Instagram post alongside photos of Abloh yesterday (November 29).
The rapper went on to say that his favourite project of Abloh’s was the Benz G-Wagon, a collaboration between the designer and Mercedez in September of 2020 that reimagined the company’s G-Class vehicle as a racing car. Tyler added that a few years ago he began using his African surname Okonma more frequently because of “how regal” Abloh’s felt.
“Sometimes, part of us sharing our wild ideas is to get approval from our peers to keep it pushing, but Virgil was ALWAYS a cheerleader. For everyone. That hand of his opened doors, lead people in and tossed the keys outside for the next person to have.
“I wish I was able to see him see what his helping hand did for me. His spirit is around tho. I feel it. He’ll see it. I’ll keep pushing and trying things while leaving the door open. He’ll shake those pom-poms. We’ll keep that on loop. Safe travels,” Tyler concluded. Read the full tribute below:
Abloh died on November 28 after battling an aggressive form of cancer for over two years. “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary; he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” said LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault in a statement confirming Abloh’s passing. Abloh had been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line since 2018.
The death of Abloh – who collaborated extensively with Kanye West as a creative director and also worked on visual design elements for the likes of Lil Uzi Vert and Westside Gunn – was met with an outpouring of tributes from the world of music, fashion and culture.
West dedicated an edition of his Sunday Service livestream to Abloh, with the Sunday Service Choir performing a cover of Adele‘s ‘Easy On Me’ in tribute. Others who paid tribute to Abloh included Drake, BROCKHAMPTON‘s Kevin Abstract, Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon and more.
Earlier this week, Tyler, the Creator’s Odd Future associate Frank Ocean also paid tribute to Abloh in a lengthy statement. Sharing his words via an Instagram Story, Ocean discussed how Abloh had supported him in his creative endeavours, from 2016’s ‘Blonde’ to his recently revealed luxury company, Homer.
“When I went to Miami and you played a set on the beach in 2016 you played ‘White Ferrari’ – a song with no drums or bars anywhere to be found lol – and started a sing-along,” he wrote.
“When I played demos of shit I was working on or showed you Homer way before it was ready you put the battery in my back… I know grief is love that you don’t get to express so is an attempt at expressing it. Love you V. You’re a hero.”