Serena Williams (L) and Virgil Abloh [Credit: Teen Vogue]

Venus Williams, Gael Monfils and other tennis stars react to the death of fashion designer Virgil Abloh

Namit Kumar

Members of the tennis world, including Venus Williams and Gael Monfils, paid tribute to fashion designer Virgil Abloh on social media after his death. Abloh was the creative head of the Louis Vuitton Men's Collection, and the most high-profile African-American designer in the world.

The American, who was also the CEO of the Off-White fashion label that he founded in 2012, died of cancer on Sunday.


Venus Williams tweeted her reaction to the news early on Monday, while Maria Sharapova, Coco Gauff, and Naomi Osaka shared photographs of the designer on their Instagram stories. Osaka also retweeted music producer Pharell Williams's message to Abloh.

Omg I can鈥檛 believe @virgilabloh is gone. Noooo馃挃馃挃馃挃
12:02 PM 路 Nov 29, 2021
My heart is broken

Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius

your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever

Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones

you鈥檙e with the Master now, shine

12:08 PM 路 Nov 29, 2021

Gael Monfils also took to Twitter to write a heartfelt message for Abloh. The Frenchman called the time he spent with the designer a "privilege," and thanked him for designing his partner Elina Svitolina's wedding dress.

I鈥檓 so devastated by the news and still can鈥檛 believe it.
I had the privilege to talk with you during those years and you were a true inspiration for me. Only few months ago you gave us the honor to design Elina wedding dress. I鈥檓 forever grateful for our connection馃檹馃従 #RIP V.A 馃枻
2:29 AM 路 Nov 29, 2021

Virgil Abloh's collaborations with Serena Williams

Serena Williams's 2018 US Open kit was designed by Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh was best known in the tennis world for his collaborations with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams. The designer had tied up with Williams on various occasions. This included the Serena Williams x Virgil Abloh x Nike 'Queen' collection launched in 2018.

Williams wore kits designed by Abloh on multiple occasions, including the 2018 US Open and 2019 French Open.

Designer Virgil Abloh was instrumental in sneaker culture, but he also had influence in tennis, especially in 2018-2019 with Nike & Serena collabs.
2:01 AM 路 Nov 29, 2021

Williams was heavily criticized for her 2018 French Open outfit. She wore a catsuit -- a compression suit that helped fight off the blood clots she was experiencing after giving birth.

The following year, she collaborated with Abloh for her Roland Garros kit. On the cape she wore as part of the outfit, the American designer embroidered "Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess." in French. She spoke fondly of her work with Abloh at the time.

"It's the second time we've worked together," Williams told Vogue in 2019. "It has words in it in French. It talks about me being a mom and me being a queen, as all women are. A champion. It's positive reinforcement for me, and I kind of love that."

At the time of writing, the American is yet to publicly comment on Abloh's death.

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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