Virgil Abloh debuted his LV menswear collection “We are the World” this past Fashion Week in Paris. Normally, most would be hype but it appears as if many are low-key questioning the Michael Jackson influence.
Lately, eyes have been glued on Virgil Abloh. It’s like Abloh is under a microscope on a partly cloudy day and it’s only a matter of time before the fashion giant gets roasted. We don’t want that…
In a recent profile published this month, the New Yorker deemed him “menswear’s biggest star.” Throughout the piece, he discussed the controversy surrounding plagiarism claims that have surfaced and his “We are the World” menswear collection that gave tribute to the greats – Basquait, Jordan, Jackson.
The rumors of plagiarism surfaced again when watchdogs within the “drip industry,” known on IG as @Diet_Prada juxtaposed pictures of Off-White drops that were very similar to what indie streetwear labels Colrs and Gramm. had already released.
“Another men’s fashion week, another @off____white collection with cherry-picked references from indie streetwear labels,” the caption whines before going into an in-depth explanation of how this might not be a coincidence…
View this post on Instagram
Another men’s fashion week, another @off____white collection with cherry picked references from indie streetwear labels? This time, the designs in question are a yellow graffitied ensemble from Cologne-based @colrsbaby by @punkzec , who showed his AW18 collection at @arisefashionweek in Lagos in April 2018, and a graphic from Manchester label @gramm . It could be a coincidence, but Virgil has been known to swipe designs from the fans he meets, some of who happen to be young creatives themselves. Interestingly enough, @punkzec met Virgil prior to one of his presentations in Paris in 2017. Think they talked design? • #colrsbaby #punkzec #arisefashionweek #lagos #streetwear #graffiti #hypebeast #hype #virgilabloh #offwhite #streetstyle #wiwt #ootd #gramm #hoodie #sweatshirt #manchester #cologne #snobshots #dietprada
Seasoned vets ripping ideas off of upcoming cubs within any industry is an act that is as old as time itself. Still, it would be a pity, if Virgil really did mean steal the ideas of young bulls trying to make a break in the game.
It’s easy to think that he did do them dirt, but in his interview with the New Yorker he actually gave his haters some props and said, “All props to them, that’s a great concept…”
The 38-year-old designer would then stand his ground and exclaim that he had never seen the Colrs look when he designed his yellow Off-White ensemble. He went off on a rant,
“I could go on for a whole hour about the human condition and the magnet that is negativity. That’s why the world is actually like it is. That’s why good doesn’t prevail, because there’s more negative energy. You can create more connective tissue around the idea that this is plagiarized. It’s better just to sit and point your finger. That’s what social media can be. All that space to comment breeds a tendency to fester, versus actually making something…”
From his response, it’s easy to understand that re-creating a clothing piece that is awfully similar to that of another designer’s can be coincidental. But, Virgil we still need a better explanation… What’s really good with all the MJ references?
I know its hard to let him go and the both of us might be lying to ourselves about the things Michael Jackson allegedly did but this is terrible timing to drop anything related to the “King of Neverland.” Still, how could he have known?
In his interview with the New Yorker, Abloh was asked if he’d heard anything about the four-hour Leaving Neverland HBO documentary which would debut eight days after his “We are the World” collection.
He explained, that he wanted to focus on “the Michael that I thought was universally accepted, the good side, his humanitarian self.” Yeah, MJ did a lot of great things but no one cares, his name has been tarnished forever.
As a result, any items that have an MJ touch will not go to production. LV released a statement via WWD, where Abloh condemned child abuse and explained his intentions. he 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… 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.”
Even Drizzy made some bold moves and removed the song “Don’t Matter to Me” that features MJ’s vocals from his setlist on the UK leg of his international tour.
No radio. No ads. No TV. No features. With the controversy surrounding “menswear’s biggest star” and his LV, trust, that we can expect to see MJ’s legacy dissipate from the fashion industry as well.