Louis Vuitton has said that it will not produce the Michael Jackson pieces that appeared in its autumn/winter 2019 menswear show, following the airing of the Leaving Neverland documentary. The programme interviews two men who accuse the pop star of having sexually abused them as children.
The documentary was first aired on 25 January at Sundance, the week after Louis Vuitton presented its menswear show on 17 January. Jackson references included a T-shirt with a graphic of his dancing feet, and styling details such as white socks worn with loafers, statement gloves, sequinned tops and loose white button-up shirts.
Creative director Virgil Abloh said at the time that he wanted to "make a point about the humanity in [Jackson’s] vision".
However, the brand has since said in a statement that the documentary has caused Vuitton "the greatest pain" and highlighted that it was unaware of the programme when the menswear collection was presented.
“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,” said Abloh. "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."
Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke described the allegations as "deeply troubling and disturbing".
“Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton," he said. "We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”
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