louis vuitton releases a statement about its michael jackson collection
Virgil Abloh’s autumn/winter 19 show drew inspiration from Michael Jackson, shortly before ‘Leaving Neverland’ premiered.
Photo via Virgil Abloh Instagram
In the wake of Leaving Neverland, the documentary which levelled claims of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, the music industry has been left reeling. Drake has axed his collaboration with Jackson, while several radio stations have banned his songs from the airwaves. Now, the fashion industry is following suit.
Following an autumn/winter 19 menswear collection that drew inspiration from Michael Jackson and his legacy, Louis Vuitton and its men’s artistic director, Virgil Abloh, have released a statement exclusively to WWD. “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,” Virgil says. “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.”
The brand stressed they were “unaware” of the documentary at the time of showing the collection, and that the claims made against Jackson by Wade Robson and James Safechuck had brought the brand “the greatest pain”. “We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” said the brand’s CEO, Michael Burke. “Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”
The collection featured several pieces of Jackson’s costumes, including loafers with white socks, encrusted tees and sequinned gloves. The brand also affirmed that any of the items “that directly feature Michael Jackson elements” will not be going into production.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.