Virgil Abloh has received backlash after photos surfaced of a recent Off-White event attended by his employees lacked diversity. According to Complex, Alboh — who is also Louis Vuitton’s first black artistic director, responded to the criticism on Friday (May 3rd) by posting photos of POC creatives whom he’s worked with. The photos included Kid Cudi, Playboi Carti, Serena Williams, Heron Preston, Tremaine Emory, Andre Walker and Fabien Montique.
The brand — Off-White, has since released a statement addressing the backlash, which said, “When questioned about diversity, Virgil Abloh takes pride in being African and American. His design team is diverse, and his practice has been built on making the art and design industry an inclusive community. Fellow designers like Samuel Ross, Heron Preston, No Vacancy Inn – by Tremaine Emory and Acyde Odunlami, Everard Best, Photographer Fabien Montique, amongst many others have been given a platform via Off-White ™. These are just a few of the many global voices and people sitting at the table and helping evolve the brand. Off-White ™ is a black founded and owned business. He wishes to use this moment of being questioned to be a moment of reflection within the industry to showcase the talents behind their design entities and push to have a design community that represents the outside world.”
A rep for Virgil also said in a statement to Hypebeast, “My design team is diverse as the world is big. The video shown was an Off-White ™ dinner at the headquarters in the city of Milan, Italy. This party was to celebrate the hard work of the local Italian team.”