I quickly became a fan of Virgil Abloh due to his creative marketing and designs within fashion. His talent is undeniable, working with names such as Luis Vuitton and Ikea whilst simultaneously creating his own clothing brand, Off-White.
Kanye, Virgil, and Don C all represent a significant shift in diversity within the fashion industry; which is why it came as a shock when Virgil became the centre of criticism relating to lack of diversity within his own company.
After videos emerged of an office party at Off-White, the internet quickly noticed that the majority of his staff were white and his main designers were white men. I have no worthwhile opinions on his choice of lead designers, but understand why this has landed Virgil in hot water.
However, this isn’t an issue exclusively within Off-White, and putting the blame on one fashion designer will not instigate industry change.
Lack of diversity is an issue that is significant throughout fashion. Watch brands tend to only advertise using white men aged between 35 to 55, the majority of clothing brands will use mostly white models on their websites, and Beyonce even rejected Puma as partner for her upcoming brand due to their staffs’ lack of diversity; this isn’t an Off-White based issue, this is a problem within the whole industry.
To put it simply, fashion brands profit off of exclusivity and classism; inclusivity is a relatively new concept for the industry.
However, in today’s Cancel Culture it’s more convenient for people to point the blame at one person, and in this case it’s the biggest black designer within the fashion industry. Why? Because the internet find it more entertaining to watch one person’s life be ruined than to actually cause real industry change.