Virgil Abloh Responds To Plagiarism Claims And Talks Supporting “The Michael [Jackson] That I Thought Was Universally Accepted”

Fashion designer Virgil Abloh says his newest fashion line is not an example of plagiarism.

Abloh is the creative director behind menswear at Louis Vuitton, as well as the head of his own label, Off White. The 38-year-old style guru debuted two collections this past Fashion Week and both received some backlash from well-known companies in the fashion realm. However, many didn’t take his new lines well, claiming the creative ripped off designs and made fashion references that suggest he supports Michael Jackson.

One of the styles was a yellow rain suit covered in jagged, graffiti-style text, which Diet Prada accused Abloh of stealing from up-and-coming streetwear designers and branding them as his own. Reports showed this isn’t the first time someone has called out the designer for seemingly knocking off looks; his most recent line was criticized by Doreen St. Félix of the New Yorker, who questioned Abloh after doing a profile of him.

In turn, Abloh praised Doreen for being spot-on when it comes to fashion but made sure to respond to the backlash. “All props to them, that’s a great concept,” Abloh said. However, in regards to the yellow jumpsuit Diet Prada accused him of plagiarizing, Abloh said his looks are original. He explained the look was “basically the use of a yellow fabric with a pattern on it.” He sarcastically exclaimed, “Ring the alarm!” Abloh said the outcry is all due to human’s need to be negative.

“I could go on for a whole hour about the human condition and the magnet that is negativity,” the designer acknowledged. “That’s why the world is actually like it is. That’s why good doesn’t prevail, because there’s more negative energy. You can create more connective tissue around the idea that this is plagiarized. It’s better just to sit and point your finger. That’s what social media can be. All that space to comment breeds a tendency to fester, versus actually making something.”

As far as referencing Michael Jackson, who is now being scrutinized following the debut of HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” Abloh said the late singer’s music has helped him produce several of his fashion pieces. “When I have Michael Jackson singing in the background, it’s a different type of shirt, it’s a different kind of boot; it’s a different fit of pants.” He went on to say that while he hasn’t seen the documentary he will continue to remember “the Michael that I thought was universally accepted, the good side, his humanitarian self.”

Virgil Abloh Accused of Plagiarism
(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/BFC/Getty Images)

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