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    Virgil Abloh Responded To Intense Backlash After He Appeared To Donate $50 To Bail Funds For Black Lives Matter Protesters

    "People who criticize 'looting' often do so as a way to make it seem like our fight against injustice isn't legitimate. I did not realize the ways my comments accidentally contributed to that narrative."

    Fashion designer Virgil Abloh has responded to an intense backlash after he appeared to donate $50 to bail funds following Black Lives Matter protests across the US.

    Philippe Lopez / Getty Images

    Over the weekend, Virgil — an artistic director at Louis Vuitton as well as founder of luxury fashion brand Off-White — posted a screenshot of his donation, saying that he was matching previous contributions made by friends.

    However, his donation was ridiculed online as people pointed out that the amount was even less than some Off-White products, including marker pens and socks.

    too put in perspective just how cheeky that £40 donation from Virgil Abloh is, that couldn’t even get you a pack of markers from Off-White... on sale.

    Someone mentioned that Virgil's donation wouldn't even cover a pair of his socks and...uh...not even when they're on sale

    People also compared his contribution to the likes of Drake and the Weeknd, who were asked to match smaller donations but increased the amount.

    A fan asked Drake & the Weeknd to match their $400 donation to bail funds. So first Drake sent $100k then The Weeknd sent $500k. Virgil Abloh was asked to match $50... ...he sent $50.

    Drake was just asked to match a $400.00 donation,and he responded by giving $100,000.00 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Virgil (@virgilabloh ), take note!

    As well as criticism over the bail fund donation, Virgil also found himself facing backlash over his comments about looting during the protests.

    Instagram / Via twitter.com

    In a since-expired Instagram story, Virgil went on to say that "streetwear is dead" alongside a picture of a boarded-up storefront.

    Now, the fashion designer has responded to the backlash, posting a lengthy note on social media and apologising for how his comments came across.

    "Yesterday I spoke about how my stores and stores of my friends were looted," he said. "I apologize that it seemed like my concern for those stores outweighed my concern for our right to protest injustice and express our anger and rage in this moment."

    Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

    He added: "I apologize that my comments yesterday appeared as if my main concerns are anything other than full solidarity with the movement against police violence, racism, and inequality."

    "People who criticize 'looting' often do so as a way to make it seem like our fight against injustice isn't legitimate," Virgil continued. "I did not realize the ways my comments accidentally contributed to that narrative."

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

    "As many have said, buildings are brick and mortar and material things can be replaced, people can't," he went on. "Black lives matter. In this moment, those other things don't."

    Virgil added that while he was fortunate enough to be able to rebuild his stores, he recognised that other people were not and so revealed he would be seeking out those store owners in order to help.

    On the subject of his donation, Virgil said that he could "understand [the] frustration" but that the total wasn't entirely accurate as he had privately made a bigger pledge.

    Virgil went on to say that he didn't originally publicise the amount of money he'd donated because he didn't want to come off as performative or invalidate smaller pledges.

    Francois Durand / Getty Images

    "I was on the fence about publicizing total dollar amounts because I didn't want to look like I'm glorifying only higher amounts or that I want to be applauded for it," he said. "I encourage everyone to band together to match funds of their own proportion, regardless of what you have. Every dollar counts."

    You can read Virgil's full statement here.

    Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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