Virgil Abloh has apologised for comments he made over the weekend, which had led to backlash on social media. The fashion designer – who heads up his own label Off-White as well as the menswear arm of Louis Vuitton – was initially criticised for complaining about the looting and for seemingly only donating $50 to the cause despite his wealth.
"Let me start with a few central facts," Abloh wrote on Instagram. "I am a black man. A dark black man. Like dark-dark. On an average trip to the grocery store in Chicago I fear I will die. The risk of literal death is the normal walk of life for almost live as if I’m walking on my tip-toes. Any interaction with the police could be fatal to me. A split second interaction I could have with them, Off-White sneakers mean nothing… or that i’m head designer of this… or I showed art work at such and such place doesn’t apply in the heat of an exchange."
The designer then apologised for speaking out about the stores that were looted – and explained that he did not mean to add to that narrative.
"Yesterday I spoke about how my stores and stores of friends were looted. I apologise that it seemed like my concern for those stores outweighed my concern for our right to protest injustice and express our anger and rage in this moment."
"People who criticise looting often do so as a way to make it seem like our fight against injustice isn't legitimate," he added. "I did not realise the ways my comments accidentally contributed to that narrative. As mentioned yesterday, if looting eases pain and furthers the overall mission, it is within good standing with me."
Abloh also went on to explain that although he posted a screenshot of a $50 donation as part of a chain-donation in solidarity with friends of his in Miami, this was by no means the total of his contributions. He in fact has donated $20,500 to various bail funds and other causes related to the movement.
"As a black person, I have felt anger, sadness, and pain every time one of us is held victim of prejudice or systemic racism. I am proud to stand in solidarity with every movement to eradicate racism and police violence. Racism has to stop. It is literally killing us.
"I feel sick that George Floyd and generations of black people have been unjustly killed by police. Every police officer involved in their deaths needs to be charged and convicted."