‘I miss you all the time’: Serena Williams pays tribute to Virgil Abloh on anniversary of his death

Serena Williams has paid tribute to her late friend, fashion designer Virgil Abloh, on the first anniversary of his death.

The tennis legend posted a black and white image of the pair from a Nike campaign photoshoot to Instagram and shared her feelings on the difficult emotions the date brought up.

“It's been a year and I still can't put into words the sorrow that I feel,” she began.

“Your touch on the world will live on forever and I couldn't be more grateful to have witnessed it and had the chance to collaborate with you.

“I still miss you all the time. Forever and ever @virgilabloh ❤️❤️.”

The late fashion designer died on 28 November 2021 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma in 2019.

As well as heading up the Off-White fashion label, the married father-of-two also made history as Louis Vuitton’s first Black artistic director after joining the luxury fashion house in 2018.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner’s affection for the designer dates back to 2018, when the pair appeared together in an Abloh x Nike collection devoted to Williams.

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In addition to wearing a pair of Abloh-designed Air Force 1s at the 2019 Met Gala, Williams also wore a Abloh-designed black and white crop top, tennis skirt and printed-cape jacket inscribed with the French words for mother, champion, queen and goddess at the 2019 French Open.

And in July 2021, Williams spoke of the regret she felt after turning down the look Abloh originally suggested she wear for the tennis tournament.

“He wanted me to wear, like, this long skirt with the crazy train and then a cape with a train, and then just walk out on the court,” she revealed in a video for Vogue.

“I just wasn’t brave enough to go out there in all the red clay, and just walk out in this train, of like, a Met Gala at the French Open,” Williams continued. “And I really wish I had done that.”

According to Williams, at the time, she told her longtime friend that, although she “loves fashion” and “pushing the envelope,” she didn’t think she should wear the outfit.

“I’m thinking: ‘Virgil, I like fashion, and I like pushing the envelope, but this, I just don’t think I can do this,’” Williams recalled.