Virgil Abloh is opening up after getting hit with backlash.
The Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director got some heat for a now-deleted Instagram Story. In the story, Abloh admitted to donating $50 “for kids in the streets that need a [sic] bail funds for the George Floyd protests.” Abloh put emphasis on looters who had broken into stores owned by him and his friends.
Abloh was shunned for focusing on looters instead of the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole and was also criticized for what some perceived to be an inadequate donation.
Virgil Abloh, artistic director for one of the biggest fashion houses in the world, just posted a screenshot of his $50 donation to the “kids in the streets that need bail funds.” Fifty. Fucking. Dollars. pic.twitter.com/Ex57tPaYpT
— Khromatica Kardashian (@yosoymichael) June 1, 2020
“I apologize that my comments yesterday appeared as if my main concerns are anything other than full solidarity with the movements against police violence, racism, and inequality,” he wrote in a seven-page statement posted to Twitter and Instagram. “I want to update all systems that don’t address our current needs. It has been my personal MO in every realm I touch.”
“Yesterday I spoke about how my stores and stores of friends were looted,” he continued. “I apologize that it seemed like my concern for those stores outweighed my concern for our right to protest injustice and express our anger and rage at this moment.”
He said the $50 donation was part of a chain of donations that others had taken part in. He insisted he has or will contribute to more charitable efforts, but chose not to disclose specifics.
“I also joined a social media chain of friends who were matching $50 donations. I apologize that appeared to some as if that was my only donation to these important causes,” Abloh explained. “I will continue to donate more and will continue to use my voice to urge peers to do the same.”
— virgil abloh (@virgilabloh) June 1, 2020
“I was on the fence about publicizing total dollar amounts because I didn’t want to look like I’m glorifying only higher amounts or that I want to be applauded for it. If you know me, you know that’s not me,” he added. “My particular aim is to change opportunities for young kids that look like me to design and ascend to the same position I have.”
He went on to explain some of the projects he is currently working on.
“Some upcoming projects include: items releasing shortly where all proceeds support bail funds for protestors [sic]. A platform titled ‘Community Service’ launched earlier this year that support [sic] emerging black artists and designers with financial support and mentoring,” he said.
Closing his message, he wrote, “I lead with love and move with respect to everyone I ever meet.”