Louis Vuitton pulled a $705 stole from its virtual shelves after the luxury brand was accused of culturally appropriating an article of clothing popular in Palestinian culture.
The “Louis Vuitton Monogram Keffieh Stole” inexplicably vanished from the famed French fashion house’s website this week, following backlash against the garment with distinctive keffiyeh-like fringe and design.
Louis Vuitton had described “The Monogram Keffieh Stole” as being “inspired by the classic Keffieh and enriched with House signatures.” It was made with a “jacquard weave technique is used to create the intricate Monogram patterns on its base of blended cotton, wool and silk,” the company had said.
The garment is popular in the Arab world and, in some circles, viewed as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
Diet Prada, a watchdog blog that describes itself as “disrupting the fashion industry,” took issue with the stole on Wednesday. Coming on the heels of deadly fighting between Israelis and Palestinians that has left hundreds dead and parts of the impoverished Gaza Strip reduced to rubble, Diet Prada questioned the timing of the product’s marketing.
The blog observed: “So LVMH’s stance on politics is ‘neutral,’ but they’re still making a $705 logo-emblazoned keffiyeh, which is a traditional Arab headdress that’s become a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. Hmmmm…”
“The timing is horrible, families have been wiped out, hundreds of people killed, thousands injured in brutal violence against a captive population in Gaza,” Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told NBC News on Friday. “The keffieh is very near and dear to our hearts as Palestinians and to see it appropriated is highly offensive, especially during this time, in an effort to make a buck.”
Representatives for Louis Vuitton did not return several messages left Thursday night and Friday morning seeking the company’s response.
This isn’t the first time the garment has raised eyebrows.
Bianca Britton and Suzanne Ciechalski contributed.