Renowned Belgian designer and member of the Antwerp Six Walter Van Beirendonck called out Virgil Abloh last week, accusing the designer of committing plagiarism in his Louis Vuitton SS21 collection.

Now, Abloh has issued an official statement regarding the accusations via his personal publicist. It reads as follows:

Walter Van Beirendonck’s claims are completely false. They are a hate-filled attempt to discredit my work. The inspiration for my collection comes from the DNA of Louis Vuitton, including the 2005 Louis Vuitton menswear show, and it was clearly outlined in the notes distributed to the press when the show began. This is yet another instance of false equivalence to try to discredit me as a designer.

The collection in question – designed under Marc Jacobs  – does appear to include similar motifs, specifically the monogram teddy bears, which could have served as inspiration for the roster of animals seen in SS21.

If you missed the initial story, Van Beirendonck claimed a variety of elements from Louis Vuitton’s SS21 menswear presentation were ripped off from his own designs. Speaking to Belgian publication Knack Weekend, the designer decried Abloh's runway show and practice of stealing designs. “Copying is nothing new. It's part of fashion. But not like this. Not on that level, with their budgets, their teams, their possibilities. That's what is shocking to me," he posted.

"It's very clear that Virgil Abloh is not a designer," Van Beirendonck continued. "He has no language of his own, no vision. He can't create something of his own season after season and that is painful. As for me, throughout all these years in fashion, I have patiently built up a signature language. That language is mine. It's me. And he takes it, makes a copy of it. You can reinterpret things, do them in a different way. But this is just embarrassing. Meanwhile, Abloh gets a lot of money. He's the one who cashes in."

Alongside the Louis Vuitton SS21 clothing silhouettes and color palette, the Belgian designer pointed out Abloh's plush “Zoooom With Friends” mascots stitched to various jackets and suits, noting the similarities between the tailoring debuted at Walter Van Beirendonck Fall/Winter 2016.

Van Beirendonck also took to Instagram to blast Abloh, posting a photo of a Peter Saville–copy sequin T-shirt from his Fall 2020 show. Van Beirendonck reiterated the message stitched on the T-shirt in his caption: "I HATE COPYCATS."

Stay tuned as this story develops.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Next Time on 'And Just Like That': A Warning to Birkin Owners

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    On & South2 West8’s New Collab Keeps Your Heels in the Clouds

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Designer Julie Valuskova on the Future of Sneaker Design

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    MM6 Maison Margiela & Salomon Are Already on Collab #3

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Stone Island's New Balance 574 Is a Welcome Surprise

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Tom Sachs Knows His Nikecraft General Purpose Shoes Are Boring — That’s the Point

    Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.