Virgil Abloh's second Louis Vuitton menswear show, inspired by the late global superstar Michael Jackson, made its debut at Paris Fashion Week in January to rave reviews from critics. However, in the wake of the recent Leaving Neverland documentary about Jackson’s alleged abuse of young boys, both Abloh and the elite luxury French label are now addressing their stance amidst the controversy.
WWD reports that Virgil has issued an official statement, in regard to Leaving Neverland, "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," he 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."
This comes after a recent profile with The New Yorker. The designer was asked if he had heard anything about the HBO documentary, to which he replied that he hadn’t and only wanted to focus on "the Michael that I thought was universally accepted, the good side, his humanitarian self."
Louis Vuitton also stressed in its official statement that it was "unaware" of the documentary at the time of the fashion presentation in January.
“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” said Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and chief executive officer. "Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause."
We’ve reached out to representatives at Louis Vuitton for a comment on this story and the label confirms that it will not produce any of the pieces that reference Michael Jackson.
"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," the spokesperson stated. "The Fall-Winter 2019 Men’s collection has multiple inspirations and will be launched in stores in July."
You can head over here for a recap of Virgil Abloh's Michael Jackson-inspired Louis Vuitton FW19 collection.