Virgil Abloh Addresses the Backlash over His Instagram Comments

Harper's Bazaar Staff
Photo credit: Edward Berthelot - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Virgil Abloh posted a lengthy explanation for social media comments he made yesterday. The Louis Vuitton menswear collection designer, Off-White founder, and frequent Nike collaborator was called out by many on Twitter and Instagram for comments he made on fellow designer Sean Wotherspoon’s account, which showed a video of the aftermath of his looted store, Round Two.

Abloh wrote, “You see the passion, blood, sweat and tears Sean puts in for our culture. This disgusts me. To the kids that ransacked his store and RSVP DTLA, and all our stores in our scene just know, that product staring at you in your home/apartment right now is tainted and a reminder of a person I hope you aren’t. We’re a part of a culture together. Is this what you want?? When you walk past him in the future please have the dignity to not look him in the eye, hang your head in shame … .”

This contrasted many other designers, including Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, who sent messages of solidarity with the protesters. “Property can be replaced, human lives CANNOT,” wrote Jacobs.

Abloh was also brought to task for his monetary contributions to Fempower, an art collective aiding protesters with legal expenses. “I mean every penny counts but Virgil abloh donating $50 when he makes double that from a pair of socks,” wrote one user.

“I can’t believe I donated more money than virgil abloh and I’m the one that’s unemployed,” wrote another.

Today, on his Instagram account, Abloh offered an apology for his comments and gave a list of actions he has taken to show support for protesters.

“I apologize that my comments yesterday appeared as if my main concerns are anything other than full solidarity with the movements against police violence, racism, and inequality,” he shared. “I want to update all systems that don’t address our current needs. It has been my personal MO in every realm I touch.”

Abloh also expanded on his $50 donation. “I can understand your frustration if you think my contributions were limited to $50,” he wrote. “Purely false when it comes to the total. I have donated $20,500 to bail funds and other causes related to this movement.”

Still, many on social media are not quick to forgive his actions, further calling out the lack of diversity on his design teams. “Virgil Abloh said when he applies for a job he fears he won’t get it. The artistic director of Louis Vuitton. With no black people on his teams,” wrote one Twitter user.

“I will no longer be supporting you nor your clothing,” wrote another.

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