Prominent and highly-regarded fashion designer Virgil Abloh passed on Sunday after battling a rare form of cancer at just 41-years-old. Abloh was known for his omnivorous creative mind which had no limits and pushed the fashion world to evolve when it hit a stagnant state back in 2009. He also made room for other minority designers and was a leader of equality and diversity in fashion.

Gone too soon, but Abloh made the most of every second during his time on Earth and has impacted many of the world's most influential people—even a few of the world's top tennis players.

1. Serena and Venus Williams

Abloh who was the founder of luxury fashion label, OFF-WHITE worked very closely with Serena and Nike on a few statement outfits she donned on the court. The 23-time Grand Slam's light lavender, purple tutu dress she wore during the 2018 US Open was created with Abloh. This marked their first time working together.

The barrier-breaking designer also crafted one of Serena's most iconic on-court looks at the 2018 Roland Garros. It was her first Grand Slam as a mother and Abloh carefully designed an outfit that not only captured Serena's fierce on-court demeanor, but an outfit that would keep her comfortable and safe as she tried to suppress blood clots like those she'd experienced after giving birth.

Her sleek midnight black-bodysuit with a vibrant red waistband not only made Serena feel like a superhero, but it helped with circulation and served as an inspiration to other mothers. Abloh proved that clothes aren't just garments but tokens of identity. He had a way of giving the familiar an added touch of non-traditional and culture.


“I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess," Serena Williams said of Abloh's catsuit in 2018.


The list of head-turning, Abloh designed and approved attire Serena wore goes on. In 2019, she joined Abloh again for another collaboration ahead of her Roland Garros campaign, this time it was an OFF-WHITE exclusive and it did not disappoint. She wore a black and white two-piece with a matching cape printed with French words for “Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess.”

Abloh managed to create another stunning look but something that was just as inspiring as the person wearing it. The two-piece ensemble also served as a clever way of standing her ground due to the overwhelming criticism the catsuit received the year prior from French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli.

"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," Serena said of Abloh's custom-designed 2019 Off-White look.


Venus unfortunately never crossed paths with Abloh, but always admired his work and was a fan. The seven-time Grand Slam winner shared an in-depth Instagram post on how much of an inspiration he was to her and says that 2022 will be a year dedicated to him.

"It was so brave how he continued his life work through the absolute most difficult of circumstances. I’m amazing how he continued no matter what to pursue what he loved and to bring opportunity to all, to open doors and elevate the worlds of fashion, design and art. It gives me even more inspiration as I prepare for next years tennis season coming off of a few years of challenging injuries. I have a feeling everything I do and experience next year will be for Virgil and inspired by Virgil…." - Venus Williams


2. Elina and Gael Monfils

Most recently, the beloved creator worked with tennis' power couple for their special day by creating a one-of-a-kind wedding dress for Elina. Earlier this year in July, Elina walked down the aisle in her OFF-WHITE dress that re-invented the definition of casual-chic and she was grateful to have seen her vision of the perfect wedding day outfit come to life thanks to Abloh.


Monfils shared an Instagram post expressing his love and appreciation for him.

“Designing her look for the US Open was a career highlight for me, by far,” Abloh told Vogue following his first collaboration with Serena at the 2018 US Open.