As national unrest mounts following the death of George Floyd, Virgil Abloh has found himself facing criticism.
The Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director and Off-White designer is facing backlash both for his response to looters as well as for the donation he made to support protesters — which some perceived to be paltry.
In a now-deleted post on Instagram this weekend, Abloh shared a video of Round 2 founder Sean Wotherspoon’s damaged store. In a message that appeared to be directed to looters, the designer wrote: “This disgusts me … We’re part of a culture together. Is this what you want? When you walk past [Wotherspoon] in the future please have the dignity to not look him in the eye, hang your head in shame.”
Additionally, on Sunday, Abloh shared a screenshot of a $50 donation made to a Miami bail fund, writing he was “crazy inspired.” But on Twitter, many individuals felt that the donation was inadequate, citing the steep prices of the goods Abloh creates for both Off-White and Louis Vuitton.
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“I can’t believe I donated more money than Virgil Abloh and I’m the one that’s unemployed,” wrote one netizen, while another commented: “I really cannot believe Virgil Abloh has the audacity to post that screenshot of his $50 donation. I’m speechless every time I see it.”
“Virgil Abloh. Creator of Off-White.. Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton donated a measly $50… and y’all want me to feel bad for designer stores getting looted???” another Twitter user commented.
National unrest has mounted following the death on May 25 of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin. After arresting Floyd, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin has since been taken into police custody and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Protests have gone on across the nation for six consecutive days — most of them peaceful. Numerous designers have voiced their support for racial justice, including Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger and Chloe Gosselin. And brands and retailers — both those that have consistently spoken up on social issues as well as those that have tended to remain silent — are also sharing messages in solidarity with protesters.
A representative for Abloh did not immediately respond to FN’s request for comment.