No stranger to controversy, Virgil Abloh has yet again found himself in hot water only weeks after finding himself at the receiving end of backlash over his comments on Michael Jackson’s alleged abuse following the release of his latest collection, which was inspired by the late popstar.
And now, the Chicago-born designer is in the midst of yet another scandal, this time it’s about his staff. The Off-White CEO posted a series of photos last Tuesday on his Instagram story during a staff party in Milan, writing “all the art directors of @off___white. Crazy crazy talented crew of kids.”
Social media was quick to note the lack of diversity. The twittersphere called out the absence of people of colour (of the 136 people shown, no-one could spot a single POC).
Frenzy ensued. “Not gonna lie I thought @virgilabloh would have some black people working with him but I’m not surprised” one user wrote. Another slapped the label ‘culture vultures’ on the all-white design team.
Despite the controversies he’s found himself in the midst of in the past—most of which were in relation to his designs—no large-scale conversation surrounding his blackness and diversity as a whole has ever been prompted.
As Louis Vuitton menswear’s artistic director, Abloh is celebrated for being one of the first black creative directors to hold a high-profile position in a luxury fashion house.
But fashion is no stranger to racist tropes, even indutry stalwarts like Prada and Gucci have recently been called out for racially-insensitive mishaps.