Louis Vuitton axes Michael Jackson-inspired pieces

20 March 2019

French fashion house Louis Vuitton has said it will no longer produce any of the pieces from its autumn/winter 2019 collection that directly reference Michael Jackson, following allegations of child sexual abuse in the HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland.

The menswear show, which took place in January just over a week before the documentary’s premiere at Sundance, featured a number pieces that paid homage to the performer. The pieces were intended to go on sale in the summer.

Invitations to the show came in the form of a single rhinestone-encrusted glove similar to those worn by Jackson. His music also played intermittently throughout the show.

Last week men’s artistic director at Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, released a statement saying: “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. 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.”

The label’s chairman and chief executive officer, Michael Burke also said: “We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” and added that “child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”

Louis Vuitton’s decision to address the controversy surrounding its products make it the latest luxury fashion house to do so after outcry from customers on social media. There had been speculation about how the brand would handle the collection following the documentary, which aired on Channel 4 last week.

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