Louis Vuitton to stop making Michael Jackson-inspired items
UPI News Service, 03/15/2019
Fashion designer Louis Vuitton will stop producing Michael Jackson-inspired merchandise over allegations of child sex abuse against the deceased pop star in the documentary Finding Neverland.
In the HBO documentary, two men accuse Jackson of molesting them when they were children decades ago. Fashion news website WWD and Harper's Bazaar both confirmed Louis Vuitton's decision to pull the Jackson-inspired items from a recent collection.
Louis Vuitton's Michael Jackson collection included a T-shirt with an image of his loafer-clad feet and white socks posed in an iconic dance move. Other merchandise featured costumes inspired by Jackson's outfits in music videos and concerts.
Vuitton officials said they didn't know about the documentary when creating the fashion line or when it hosted a fashion show on Jan. 17, eight days before the documentary was screened at Sundance Film Festival. The result has caused the company "the greatest pain," it said.
All items that directly feature Michael Jackson elements will cease production.
"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," artistic director Virgil Abloh, men's artistic director at Vuitton said in a statement to WWD Thursday. Abloh added, "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."
Wade Robson and James Safechuck said they were abused by Jackson when they were ages 7 and 10, respectively. Both previously told authorities no sexual misconduct occurred.
In 2005, Jackson was acquitted of charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy in an unrelated matter. Jackson denied any sexual abuse until his death in 2009.
Copyright 2019 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.