Locals react to Rockford native, fashion designer Virgil Abloh death

ROCKFORD — Local residents took to social media Sunday to remember Virgil Abloh, a Rockford native who went on to become one of the most influential and creative figures in modern art, fashion and design.

Abloh died Sunday at the age of 41. According to his verified Instagram account, he was privately battling a rare form of cancer for the past two years.

Virgil Abloh poses for photographers upon arrival at the Nike Celebrates The Beautiful Game event, in London on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.  Abloh, a leading fashion executive hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died after a private battle with cancer. He was 41. Abloh's death was announced Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 by LVMH Louis Vuitton and the Off White label, the brand he founded.

As news of Abloh’s death spread across the globe Sunday, Abloh’s alma mater, Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, released the following statement:

“The Boylan Catholic High School community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our 1998 alumnus, Virgil Abloh, a 2019 Alumni Excellence Awardee. Virgil Abloh was an amazing force in all he did and made an incredible impact on the world.

“He was a groundbreaking artist on a global stage, daring collaborator and an inspiration and advocate for new artists. Our prayers are with his wife, children, parents and sister. Rest in peace. Once a Titan always a Titan.” 

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau posted the following message on Facebook:

“Here in his hometown, we join the global community to share our deepest condolences to Virgil Abloh’s family and loved ones after hearing of his passing today.

He was a courageous visionary, and his legacy will continue to be a bright light inspiring others to break barriers with creativity and valor. Please take a moment with us to remember this Rockford native and honor him today and always.”