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Everyone Is Mad at Virgil Abloh Over the George Floyd Protests

  • June 02, 2020

In response to questions about the building anger, Mr. Abloh sent a lengthy statement to The Times addressing the issue of racism and clarifying his posts and record, and then decided to rescind it. A spokesman texted that he had no comment for the moment, as “he has changed his mind in how he will respond to this whenever he does finally respond.”

Here’s what happened.

As reports of protests and looting spread across the country, Mr. Abloh started posting on Instagram Stories and chastised looters for damaging businesses to which he had a connection. He began with a familiar topic: the notion that “streetwear is dead.”

“Case point # 81 why I said ‘streetwear’ is dead,” read one post, alongside a video of the Round Two vintage store in Los Angeles after it was broken into and looted. Another photo, depicting smashed artwork amid broken glass at the Fat Tiger workshop in Chicago, was accompanied by a caption that read: “Our own communities, our own shops … this shop was built with blood sweat and tears.”

Then came another post, this time of a busted door at the RSVP Gallery in Chicago. In a long note alongside the photo, Mr. Abloh said that 11 years ago he and the gallery owners had made a “commitment to make something our local community could see without the access we had been fortunate to access.”

“Today that same community robbed us. If that heals your pain, you can have it …” the caption read.

He also wrote a passionate comment under a post by Sean Wotherspoon, the owner of Round Two. It read:

“You see the passion, blood, sweat and tears Sean puts in for our culture. This disgusts me. To the kids that ransacked his store and RSVP DTLA, and all our stores in our scene just know, that product staring at you in your home/apartment right now is tainted and a reminder of a person I hope you aren’t. We’re a part of a culture together. Is this what you want?? When you walk past him in the future please have the dignity to not look him in the eye, hang your head in shame….”

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