Louis Vuitton is accused of cultural appropriation

EL UNIVERSAL in English has reached out to Raw Edges for more information

Louis Vuitton & Raw Edges are accused of cultural appropriation in Mexico
Raw Edges designer several furniture pieces for Louis Vuitton - Photo: Taken from Raw Edges' Instagram account
English 09/07/2019 12:23 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales Mexico City Reuters Actualizada 12:29
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In April, Louis Vuitton presented its latest Objets Nomades collection at the Palazzo Serbelloni in Milan during Fuorisalone 2019.

Since 2012, the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection has “invited renowned designers to imagine creative, functional, and innovative furniture and objects, which are then elegantly crafted using Louis Vuitton’s savoir-faire.”

This year, the 45 experimental objects that make up the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection add a “defiantly contemporary visions of creative designers from around the world.”

Nevertheless, the Mexican government and society have accused Louis Vuitton and Raw Edges of cultural appropriation.

A few days ago, it was revealed that the Mexican government had questioned Louis Vuitton’s use of a traditional Mexican pattern, Tenangos, in the design of a chair created by Raw Edges, less than a month after it sent a similar letter to Carolina Herrera for the use of the same pattern and other traditional embroideries.

In the letter issued on July 5, the Culture Minister says that it was “surprised” to find one chair in the Dolls by Raw Edges collection by the Paris-based fashion house featured the designs of Mexican artists in Hidalgo.

“We feel obliged to ask, in a respectful manner, if for the elaboration of the chair mentioned you sought and, in this case, worked together with the community and its artists,” the letter said.

Louis Vuitton did not immediately respond to a request for comment but removed the chair from its website and it is unknown if the chair will be sold by the French house.

Moreover, Raw Edges has responded to critical comments posted to its Instagram account three weeks ago, saying the designers “very much understand your concern as this is a highly important issue but I would appreciate if facts were checked before posting. Our prototype chair that was presented in Milan was not made of printed canvas but an original embroidery from Mexico. The final production pieces will be done in full collaboration with the local artisans in Mexico. If you need further information please feel free to get in touch.”

EL UNIVERSAL in English has reached out to Raw Edges for more information.

Less than two months ago, Carolina Herrera and its new creative designer were accused of cultural appropriation after several designs featured traditional Mexican motifs and embroideries.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time designers have appropriated Mexican culture for profit, without compensating Indigenous communities.

In recent months, Morena, the ruling party, has been planning to launch legislation to protect Indigenous communities from plagiarism and having their work used by others without receiving fair compensation.


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