Following the backlash against Virgil Abloh’s statement regarding his Michael Jackson-inspired collection, Louis Vuitton and the creative director has announced that the label will no longer produce any items “that directly features Michael Jackson elements.” This includes their signature fall 2019 pieces such as sparkling white gloves, a graphic T-shirt airbrushed with the singer’s famous socks-and-loafers look, as well as those that feature prints with the characters of the 1978 film The Wiz, which starred Michael as the Scarecrow.
This comes in light of the public outrage surrounding the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary, where the icon was accused of abusing two minors. Virgil initially said, “My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers.” He added, “I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.”
Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke now claims, “We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing. Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”
Both Louis Vuitton and Virgil stressed that the team was unaware of Leaving Neverland at the time of its most recent runway show during Men’s Fashion Week Paris in January. (WWD notes: “The film premiered at Sundance around the end of January and its first trailer was released in February, followed by its debut on HBO in March.”)
“Louis Vuitton will make sure the collection purely reflects the true values of the brand and of our Artistic Director, and also that there is absolutely no item that directly features Michael Jackson elements,” a spokesperson for Louis Vuitton told Fashionista. “The [Fall 2019] men’s collection has multiple inspirations and will be launched in stores in July.”
Virgil has always declared himself a big fan of Michael Jackson, and we appreciate that regardless, he and the mega fashion house are showing their support to child abuse victims with this move.