Virgil Abloh Blasted Online For Lack Of Diversity On Staff
Virgil Abloh’s brand Off-White staff has been criticized for having a staff that’s way too white.
He received a ton of backlash this week after he posted photos from a recent Off-White event he attended with his employees. The pictures posted included some shots of the brand’s graphic team and art director and Abloh’s followers were quick to point out the lack of diversity among the staff, which led to people accusing him of not supporting other black creatives.
Upset about being called out, Virgil responded to the criticism on Friday afternoon, posting photos of all the POC creatives he has worked with. The list features Kid Cudi, Playboi Carti, Serena Williams, Heron Preston, Tremaine Emory, Andre Walker, and Fabien Montique.
After posting some other responses to the criticism, Abloh concluded his series of Instagram stories with these words: “Follow my whole design team. Support their creative ideas. Buy their clothes. Attend their events. Like their photos. Be global. Travel. Eat different food. Listen to techno. Walk don’t Uber. Love your neighbor.”
Soon after responding on his own social media pages, Virgil also provided a statement to Hypebeast about the rumors spreading online. He said: “My design team is diverse as the world is big. The video shown was an Off-White ™ dinner at the headquarters in the city of Milan, Italy. This party was to celebrate the hard work of the local Italian team.”
Off-White also sent out a statement on the matter, which you can read below:
“When questioned about diversity, Virgil Abloh takes pride in being African and American. His design team is diverse, and his practice has been built on making the art and design industry an inclusive community. Fellow designers like Samuel Ross, Heron Preston, No Vacancy Inn – by Tremaine Emory and Acyde Odunlami, Everard Best, Photographer Fabien Montique, amongst many others have been given a platform via Off-White ™. These are just a few of the many global voices and people sitting at the table and helping evolve the brand. Off-White ™ is a black founded and owned business.”
“He wishes to use this moment of being questioned to be a moment of reflection within the industry to showcase the talents behind their design entities and push to have a design community that represents the outside world.”