Virgil Abloh faces backlash after looting comments
Jun. 2, 2020
Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director, Virgil Abloh, has come under fire for his looting comments amid the Black Lives Matter protests after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
The designer, in an Instagram post, wrote: “Case & point # 81 why I said ‘streetwear’ is dead,” in reference to a video of the Round Two vintage store in Los Angeles after it was broken into and looted. On another photo of destroyed artwork at the Fat Tiger workshop in Chicago, he wrote the caption: “Our own communities, our own shops … this shop was built with blood sweat and tears.”
Abloh later apologized for his comments as a backlash ensued, with many pointing out his comments were trivial in light of the crisis and not showing solidarity amid the protests.
Abloh, in a resonse on Twitter, said: “As a black person, I have felt anger, sadness, and pain every time one of us is held victim of prejudice or systemic racism. I am proud to stand in solidarity with every movement to eradicate racism and police violence. Racism has to stop. It is literally killing us.”
“I feel sick that George Floyd and generations of black people have been unjustly killed by police. Every police officer involved in their deaths needs to be charged and convicted. UNEQUIVOCALLY. We, the people of the world, should protest however we see fit.”
Abloh continued to address his Instagram comments, saying: “I apologise that my comments yesterday appeared as if my main concerns are anything other than full solidarity with my movements against police violence, racism, and inequality. I want to update all systems that don’t address our current needs. It has been my personal MO in every realm I touch.”
“As many have said, buildings are brick and mortar and material things can be replaced, people can’t,” he explained. “Black lives matter. In this moment, those other things don’t.”
“People who criticise ‘looting’ often do so as a way to make it seem like our fight against injustice isn’t legitimate. I did not realise the ways my comments accidentally contributed to that narrative. If looting eases pain and furthers the overall mission, it is within good standing with me.”
Photo courtesy of Off-White