I’ve always been taught not to count anyone else’s pockets. Typically, I’m of the mindset that what people do with their money is their business. But when people publicize how they spend their coins, on social media, it’s automatically up for discussion and debate.
Now, it’s time to dig in Virgil Abloh’s pocket.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Abloh is the creative director for Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear. Not only that, he’s the creator of the luxury label Off-White.
I don’t need to spell it out for you, Abloh has money. According to Google, his net worth is an estimated $4 million.
So folks were shocked to see the amount of money Abloh donated to bail funds of people in Miami who have been arrested as a result of the protests.
Abloh donated $50 and then shared it in his Instagram stories.
$50 might be expected and accepted for the average person, you know someone without millions in the bank and other assets.
But if Abloh’s estimated worth is any indication, this is not his situation. Furthermore, given the pricing of the items he sells through his Off-White brand, people expressed their shock and outrage at the donation amount.
Now, in Abloh’s defense. This $50 could have been one several donations he’s made in the past week. And in the midst of everything that’s happening right now, perhaps we should focus our energy on the fact that people are donating rather than the amount they are donating.
Still, I can’t help but wonder if this particular donation from Abloh is just a symbol of a larger issue: corporations and the people attached to them, enjoying a one-sided, non-reciprocal relationship with the very people who’ve not only supported but elevated Abloh’s brands (both Louis Vuitton and Off-White.)
On Off-White’s website, with $50 you can get a phone case or a pair of socks. And this is after these items were marked down from $90 and $70 respectively.
I don’t know the demographics of Abloh’s customers. But I do know that whether they can afford his pieces or not, the Black community has played a huge role in amplifying Off-White’s brand and validating its coolness amongst the people. And as we all know, when Black folks say something is cool, it is so.
The nature of these protests is multifaceted. Not only are people saying Black Lives Matter enough not to be gunned down unjustly in the street, they matter enough to be respected and supported by the brands they patronize.
People said this and then some after they discovered Virgil’s donation.
Check out some of the opinions and other evidence of Abloh being a little shady when it comes to other Black folks on the following pages.