03.27.13 7:20 PM ET
A Video Featuring Louis Vuitton's Fall Collection Accused of Promoting Prostitution
A video created by Love magazine's Katie Grand, which features Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2013 collection, was released just days after the label’s March 6 show. But it’s only now that left-wing French paper Libération has published a letter that speaks out against the three-minute clip, saying it promotes prostitution.
Styled by Grand (who also styles all of Vuitton's shows) and directed by James Lima, the video features models Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell, Georgia May Jagger, Isabeli Fontana, and Lily McMenamy sauntering down Paris' Rue du Pont Neuf (and in the back of cars) in pieces from the house's lingerie-inspired collection. Their messy wigs, glazed eyes, and off-balance stances, matched with the narrow street's dark allyway, recalls the later stages of Les Miserables’s Fantine’s demise.
The letter seems at home in Libération-- a paper famous for taking aim at LVMH’s Bernard Arnault with a 2012 headline that translated to “Get Lost you Rich Idiot.” According to a Sunday Times translation, the letter details how the film “[assimilates] luxury with the world’s second most profitable criminal activity after drug trafficking." It’s signed by an array of women’s advocacy leaders, including lawyer Dominique Attias, who told the Sunday Times that Vuitton is promoting "an extremely shocking representation of women.” He added that the brand “portrayed women’s bodies as an object and prostitution as something that is playful and enjoyable. This is very damaging because we are trying to fight the idea, to which some young women in France subscribe, that prostitution is banal and just a way of getting money to buy clothes.”
The video has since been removed from Love's Vimeo channel and Facebook page. An earlier Facebook post on the magazine's page, which is now linking to another story, says it was a video created by Love "for Louis Vuitton," that told the "backstory" of Marc Jacobs' Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. A representative for Louis Vuitton told The Daily Beast via e-mail: "The video was created by and broadcasted by Love, it was an editorial project."