Virgil Abloh called out for lack of diversity at Off-White bash

Virgil Abloh has come under fire from fans online who called out the lack of diversity at his Off-White brand’s Christmas party.The American designer, who is artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection and CEO of the Off-White label, which…

Virgil Abloh has come under fire from fans online who called out the lack of diversity at his Off-White brand’s Christmas party.

The American designer, who is artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection and CEO of the Off-White label, which he founded, took to his Instagram Stories on Tuesday (30Apr19) to share a series of snaps from the festive bash held in Milan last year.

While the 38-year-old posted pictures of various teams working on the brand, users were quick to spot the lack of diversity within the all-white team, and took to the comments of his latest Instagram post to call out the star.

“So you clearly don’t believe in diversity,” one fan commented, while another slammed the star for being a “fraud”.

“Milan has over three million ppl and has the most multicultural, diverse ethnic group of ppl in Italy,” another suggested. “There are plenty of talented, black, creative ppl to choose from.”

“Address the issue at hand don’t try to cool your way out of this, you can’t just give us black models and think its fine, you talk about black history too much for this,” a fourth fan commented.

The backlash comes shortly after the fashion mogul faced criticism for his Michael Jackson-inspired menswear collection for Louis Vuitton, which he debuted in January.

Following the string of allegations made against the Thriller hitmaker in the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary, the designer was forced to apologise and ultimately pulled the collection.

“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.

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Leaving Neverland director hoping to release Michael Jackson abuse trial movie

Director Dan Reed is looking to release a follow-up to his shocking Leaving Neverland documentary, which will focus on 2005 Michael Jackson abuse trial. His film, which details the sexual abuse James Safechuck and Wade Robson allegedly suffered at the…

Director Dan Reed is looking to release a follow-up to his shocking Leaving Neverland documentary, which will focus on 2005 Michael Jackson abuse trial.

His film, which details the sexual abuse James Safechuck and Wade Robson allegedly suffered at the hands of Jackson as children, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah back in January (19) and it has since aired in the U.S. and U.K. to criticism from members of the Jackson family and legal threats from the King of Pop’s estate officials.

But, undeterred, the filmmaker now wants to pick up the story where he left off and make a movie about the trial surrounding accusations the pop superstar molested 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo.

“The film I would really like to make following this one is the trial of Michael Jackson,” Reed tells Film School Rejects. “I could only do that if the victim and his family participate.

“If Gavin Arvizo and his family would agree to participate, I would very much like to tell the story of that trial. I think it’s fascinating and astonishing that Michael was acquitted. The way that happened is an amazing story and one that should be told.”

Arvizo has largely avoided the spotlight since the trial, with a family friend, Louise Palanker, telling The Wrap a year ago (Mar18) he has no wish to revisit his relationship with Jackson publicly.

“He doesn’t really want to talk about it right now,” Palanker said. “He just wants to become a man and have a family and a career and not have this be the standout portion of who he is.”

Meanwhile, the Jackson family and the late singer’s estate officials are still trying to discredit Reed, calling his film a “lurid production”.

“This so-called ‘documentary’ is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations,” a statement to Entertainment Tonight reads. “It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project.”

The estate officials have also filed a $100 million (£75.7 million) lawsuit against HBO, the network behind the project.

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Louis Vuitton pull Michael Jackson-inspired clothing amid backlash

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 …

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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Virgil Abloh ignores Leaving Neverland controversy when discussing Michael Jackson collection

Virgil Abloh has opened up about his Michael Jackson-inspired menswear collection for Louis Vuitton for fall 19, but didn’t touch on the shocking new documentary Leaving Neverland.The 38-year-old artistic director’s second showcase for the luxury Frenc…

Virgil Abloh has opened up about his Michael Jackson-inspired menswear collection for Louis Vuitton for fall 19, but didn’t touch on the shocking new documentary Leaving Neverland.

The 38-year-old artistic director’s second showcase for the luxury French fashion house took place in January, and featured a number of nods to the King of Pop.

Following the presentation, there has been widespread controversy surrounding Jackson after the broadcast of Dan Reed’s new film. It features 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.

Reflecting on his presentation, Abloh has affirmed that he sought to channel the singer’s “good side (and) his humanitarian self” in the collection, suggesting that he was unaware of the documentary.

“When I have Michael Jackson singing in the background, it’s a different type of shirt,” he told The New Yorker. “It’s a different kind of boot, it’s a different fit of pants.”

The recent fashion show featured a New York sidewalk set, inspired by the Billie Jean video, and the late singer’s influence was particularly clear in the details; gloves, black leather loafers and a T-shirt with the image of the star’s dancing feet.

Prior to the event, invitations were distributed in the form of a single embellished white glove to each guest – a clear allusion to the Thriller star – signed by Abloh and printed with the address at the Jardin des Tuileries.

In a preview of the show, Abloh said that his main objective in dedicating the collection to Jackson was “not to make costume, but to take him as backdrop, to make a point about the humanity in his vision”.

Speaking to the New York Times, he previously referred to Jackson as “the most important person in innovating menswear ever”.

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