After the allegations of child sexual abuse in the Leaving Neverland documentary, the famous French fashion house Louis Vuitton has announced it would no longer offer any of the pieces from its recent Michael Jackson-inspired collection that directly refer to the late King of Pop.
Louis Vuitton claimed they were unaware of the controversial documentary by the time of their autumn/winter 2019 show.
In an official press statement to the fashion news site WWD, Virgil Abloh, men's artistic director at Louis Vuitton admitted that his initial intention was to pay tribute to the publicly-known image of Michael Jackson, to his legacy as a pop culture artist, and his influence on a whole new generation of artists. Abloh also added that he condemned any form of human rights infringement, including violence and child abuse.
Talking with the New Yorker magazine, Abloh said he was not familiar with the documentary and emphasized again on paying homage to the humanitarian self of Michael Jackson, that he thought it was universally accepted. Abloh also called him ''the most important innovator in menswear history'' and ''the ultimate muse.''
According to Michael Burke, the CEO, and chairman of Louis Vuitton, the allegations in the movie were disturbing and caused ''greatest pain'' to the brand. Burke also pointed out that child safety was of utmost importance to his fashion house.
Louis Vuitton's January menswear show took place one week before the documentary's premiere at Sundance film festival. The collection included several state-of-art pieces to pay tribute to the artist that was supposed to go on sale in the summer.
The collection featured a pleated shendyt similar to the one that Jackson was wearing in the Remember the Time video. It also offered numerous flag-printed items, inspired by the We Are The World. Louis Vuitton also offered a jumper, hoodie, a shirt and a pair of trousers with the cartoon figures from The Wiz, the 1970s musical starring Michael Jackson.
Another piece referred to the pop singer was a t-shirt printed with his iconic loafers and socks. The collection also included a version of the three-zip red jacket Jackson showed up with the video for Beat It.
Furthermore, Louis Vuitton sent the guests invitations on a single rhinestone-encrusted glove, resembling the one Jackson had. The New York-themed fashion show took place in a tent in the Tuileries Gardens next to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The interior design made some strong references to the Billie Jean video. Also, they played Michael Jackson's music throughout the whole event.
The 236-minute HBO documentary sparkled outcry all over the world. Louis Vuitton's decision to stop the collection from sale came after weeks of internal discussions and speculations in the media on how the brand should tackle the situation.
What is your opinion? Do you agree with the Louis Vuitton decision?