Following the debut of documentary Leaving Neverland last week on small screens across the globe – a two part exploration into sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson – the world has begun to denounce the late pop star. With his music being pulled from radio stations and even the likes of Drake removing inspired music from his tour set list, questions were raised over Louis Vuitton’s latest menswear collection.
Taking to Men’s Paris Fashion Week in late January, artistic director Virgil Abloh presented his second Louis Vuitton collection for Fall/Winter 2019. Reading more like a stage show rather than a standard runway, critics raved over his Michael Jackson-inspired collection. Teeming with iconic references from some of his greatest looks, it got pretty awkward when just eight days later controversy begun to stir surrounding the artist. Now, Louis Vuitton are in damage control.
Speaking out against the allegations, it has been reported that Louis Vuitton will now pull all Michael Jackson pieces from the recent collection. Releasing a statment to WWD last week, Abloh has said:
“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,” Abloh said. “We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” added Michael Burke, 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.”
From rhinestone gloves, white socks and printed t-shirts, Louis Vuitton has stated that it will not produce any pieces “that directly features Michael Jackson element”, and that the collection that remains will “purely reflect the true values of the brand and of our artistic director.” And while the brand will do the utmost to clear these references from the collection, Louis Vuitton men’s will be somewhat tarnished until its next new season line. Stay tuned.