Earlier in the week, the designer posted photos of a staff party in Milan.
Commenters were quick to point out the lack of diversity seen in the 136 staff present at the party.
However, friends and colleagues of Abloh have been equally vocal in their support of the designer, including Samuel Ross of A-COLD-WALL*, Tremaine Emory of No Vacancy Inn, and former Stüssy creative director Paul Mittleman.
There has also been an outpouring of support from fans of OFF-White.
In response, Abloh has posted a selection of people of color to his Instagram Stories, including designers and models he’s worked with.
He also issued a personal statement, saying “My design team is diverse as the world is big.” His team followed up with another statement, saying,
“When questioned about diversity, Virgil Abloh takes pride in being African and American. His design team is diverse, and his practice has been built on making the art and design industry an inclusive community. Fellow designers like Samuel Ross, Heron Preston, No Vacancy Inn – by Tremaine Emory and Acyde Odunlami, Everard Best, Photographer Fabien Montique, amongst many others have been given a platform via OFF-WHITE. These are just a few of the many global voices and people sitting at the table and helping evolve the brand. OFF-WHITE is a black founded and owned business.”