ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford native and Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh died Sunday at the age of 41.

The news was announced in a tweet by the LVMH Group Sunday. Abloh had reportedly been battling a rare form of cancer, in which a tumor occurs in the heart, in private for the past two years.

Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, said in the tweet:

“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”

Marko Culich, Abloh’s high school and college friend, described him as a humble person.

“He always paid attention to his roots, he was such a good thing,” Culich said. “Such an inspiration for Rockford, and it’s such a shame that we’re experiencing this loss today.”

Abloh was a graduate of Boylan High School in Rockford, and recently designed jerseys for the school’s soccer team. He is also famous for designing the shoes Serena Williams wore to the 2019 Met Gala.