Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty
One year after the death of designer Virgil Abloh, his widow, Shannon, is opening up about his illness and their private life together.
In an interview with The New York Times, she talked about the designer's fight with cancer, their private life, and the type of relationship they had.
"Even though we knew the challenge of what he was fighting, it went a lot faster than we thought it was going to," Shannon told the publication.
Virgil was diagnosed with "a rare, aggressive form of cancer" called cardiac angiosarcoma, according to an Instagram post announcing his death. He underwent "numerous challenging treatments" all while continuing his work in fashion and art.
"We never had the 'this is the legacy that I want you to work toward' discussion," Shannon said. "But because I was with him for so long, I knew every inch of him. I knew every inch of his brain."
Shannon also talked about how the private couple worked together. "It was just the way our relationship worked," she told the Times. "We knew we wanted to build this close family, and we needed someone to be the stable partner. I was happy to do that."
The family, including kids Lowe and Grey, was able to spend more time together than normal because his diagnosis coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I know that Covid was an incredibly hard thing for so many people," Shannon said. "But for us it was an amazing time because Virgil didn't have to make excuses to get out of shows or DJ-ing."
Shannon added, "No one could go anywhere. So we were able to have those last two and a half years."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Born on Sept. 30, 1980, Abloh was known for his work as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection, a role he assumed in March 2018.
He also served as chief executive officer of the Off-White label, which he founded in 2012.
LVMH, Louis Vuitton, and Off-White said in a joint statement at the time of his death that they were "devastated" by the news.
"We are all shocked after this terrible news," said Bernard Arnault, Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, in the statement. "Virgil was not only a genius designer [and] a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and wisdom."