Off-White label head and Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh is facing criticism on Twitter and other platforms after his response to the BLM protests over the death of George Floyd has left many of his supporters disheartened. Over the weekend, while protestors in multiple cities across the country took to the streets to protest police brutality, Abloh shared some musings on his Instagram over the state of streetwear with footage of fellow designer Sean Wotherspoon’s Round Two Vintage store in Los Angeles, which was broken into by looters over the weekend.
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“Case & point #81 why I said ‘streetwear’ is dead,” begins Abloh’s Instagram story, referring to previous comments he’s made late last year, “‘Streetwear’ is a detachment to the above. ‘Streetwear’ is yelling and shop staff, starting fights at lineups, defaming us cause we didn’t get enough pairs of shoes cause everyone can’t get a pair. Streetwear is a group of friends that I’m surely was like, ‘C’mon guys, this is Sean’s store, we can’t treat him, like this, we know Sean…”
According to Complex, Abloh later wrote, “If me and my friends tried to loot Alife, Supreme, aNYthing, Prohibit, Union, etc. I would foresee a 40 oz bottle hurling at my head along with it.”
Those critical of Abloh on Twitter were quick to point out that while the luxury designer was lamenting the death of streetwear over the remains of a clothing store, Sean Wotherspoon, the owner of Round Two Vintage shared this message on this Instagram,
“Nothing happening right now is okay. George Floyd should never have been killed, along with other thousands and more of innocent people killed every year because of police brutality, and above all racist behavior. I’m absolutely disgusted with our system, and to be honest, I have trouble finding words for my anger and sadness about the inequality I see in our world. I’m nothing short of sad. I will always stand with the black & brown community and continue to do my best to offer a platform for EVERYONE. We are in this together. I’m here if you need me. We need change and we need it now. BLACK LIVES MATTER!”
Abloh later posted a screenshot to his Instagram story showing a $50 contribution he donated to Fempower, an organization that is helping to pay for the legal expenses of arrested protestors, which many have noted, isn’t enough to buy anything sold by Off-White, including keychains and paperclips. Since Sunday night, #Virgil has been trending in Twitter’s top 10 worldwide. Some of the reactions can be found below:
Virgil said that him and DonC built something for the community and the community took it away. First of all, automatically blaming “the community” (we all know you mean black people) off top is part of the problem.
— Lin (@LindseyMachelle) June 1, 2020
Virgil Abloh, founder of Off White & artistic creator of LOUIS VUITTON really had the nerve to share his $50 donation. The audacity. That’s not even half the amount of one his damn keychains. My Off White bags will be going up for sale this week.
— Ourfa Zinali (@ourfazinali) June 1, 2020
Virgil when y’all ask him to open his purse: pic.twitter.com/I0Ad7gVoyC
— AB/G (@bibbygregory) June 1, 2020
There were many telling instances with Virgil but the one for me was when this young Black designer, Wole Olosunde, shared how excited he was to meet Virgil + show him a glasses design he completed
That young man’s glasses were ripped off in the Off-White SS19 Collection smh👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/jqCWCOdANm
— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) June 1, 2020
Virgil doing all that vs the friend he’s talking about pic.twitter.com/xx3C7puwlt
— jane (@fullerajane) June 1, 2020
Virgil Abloh can put quotation marks on some clothing but can't put commas on a donation.
— 🧛🏿♂️LUTHER VANDALS🎤 (@PapiGrego) June 1, 2020
A Fucking Off-White BINDER CLIP Costs More Money Than What Virgil Donated LMFAO pic.twitter.com/GyaBTNkvGP
— Peter Xinping 只有前进！🌏🦍 (@PeterXinping) June 1, 2020
Have y'all seen Virgil Abloh's Wikipedia page 💀 pic.twitter.com/5FtrxHY488
— Mako ✨ (@MakoNjeri) June 1, 2020