Last January, Louis Vuitton debuted their Fall 2019 collection created by Virgil Abloh. The collection and the show itself was thrilling, with pop music playing in the background as models in trendy pieces walked down the runway; The problem? It was a collection Abloh says was inspired by late singer Michael Jackson, who has recently come under scrutiny after the documentary Leaving Neverland alleged that Jackson sexually abused young boys. After facing backlash, the brand has stated that they will not produce any item from the season “that directly features Michael Jackson elements.” Abloh stated to WWD, “I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.”
Neither Abloh nor the brand was aware that the documentary was being made, they said. The film premiered at Sundance on Jan. 25, eight days after the brand revealed the collection. “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,” said Michael Burke, Vuitton’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“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,” Abloh said to WWD. Louis Vuitton will continue to sell pieces from the collection but will remove pieces that are directly associated with Jackson, such as a black tee that featured the singer’s iconic tiptoe and the three-zip red jacket inspired by the Jackson’s “Beat It” music video.