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Leaving a legacy: death in the fashion industry

Looking at the legacies of the most recent deaths from the biggest names in fashion.

Written by: Leah Brainerd

The end of 2021 and January of 2022 have rocked the fashion industry in the many losses of some of fashion’s greatest proponents and leaders. We have lost visionaries, pioneers, and icons in the past few months, and each deserves his own observance.

Image by: Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris

Virgil Abloh died on Nov. 28, 2021 at 41 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was known for being the founder of Off-White and he was the first African American artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s men collection since. Abloh was a visionary designer and brought his brand Off-White to the world stage as the world’s hottest brand in 2018, outshining Gucci and cementing the brand as a prominent fashion house.

Image by: Vogue / REX

André Leon Talley died on Jan. 18, 2022 at 73. Talley was an American Journalist, stylist, creative director, as well as editor-at-large for Vogue. He was also Vogue’s first African American male creative director. He has written numerous books and articles as well as been a TV personality as a judge on America’s Next Top Model. His signature look included capes and robes with his large 6’6 stature and his fun-loving personality. He was an advocate of diversity as well as LGBTQ+ rights and helped many aspiring designers in their dreams.

Image by: Getty Images / AFP / Martin Ouellet Diotte

Thierry Mugler died on Jan. 23, 2022 at 73. Mugler was a French fashion designer, creative director and creative advisor of Mugler. In the 1970s, Mugler launched his famous fashion house and gained prominence quickly for his avant-garde and nuanced approach to haute couture. One of his most famous designs was when he created the black dress worn by Demi Moore in “Indecent Proposal.” He also created the costumes for Beyonce’s “I AM…” 2009 world tour as well as Kim Kardashian’s 2019 Met Gala look in her dripping wet California girl ensemble. He was also a famous perfumier and an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

Each of these visionaries helped shape the fashion industry in their designs and their literature on the fashion of the past, present, and future. May they rest in peace.


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