Louis Vuitton have pulled its collection of Michael Jackson-inspired clothing following backlash amid sexual abuse accusations surrounding the late singer.
Artistic director Virgil Abloh’s fall showcase for the luxury French fashion house took place in January (19), and featured a number of nods to the King of Pop, such as gloves, black leather loafers and a T-shirt with the image of the star’s dancing feet.
However, a week after the catwalk presentation, Dan Reed’s documentary Leaving Neverland premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, with the film featuring James Safechuck and Wade Robson making a string of allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse against Jackson, which reportedly took place when they were young boys.
Louis Vuitton faced backlash for its Jackson-inspired collection amid the controversy surrounding Leaving Neverland, and now Abloh has issued a statement making his position clear.
“I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions,” he said in a statement to WWD. “I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.
“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 fashion house is now planning to pull any pieces “that directly (feature) Michael Jackson elements” from production, with the collection that goes to stores “purely reflecting the true values of the brand and of our artistic director”.
Michael Burke, the chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, added in his own statement: “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.”
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