Luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton has drawn criticism over its release of a men’s scarf based on the keffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress strongly associated with the Palestinian struggle.
The French fashion house describes the $705 accessory – named the “Monogram Keffieh Stole” – on its website as being “inspired by the classic keffiyeh and enriched with House signatures”.
“Soft and lightweight with fringed edges, this timeless accessory creates an easygoing mood,” the website’s product description reads.
Louis Vuitton says they are politically neutral yet they are getting profits from the sale of this $705 keffiyeh inspired scarf usually worn by the Arabs and a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. And the color, is that some form of passive political commentary? pic.twitter.com/t3EALTVV56
— Ikhwan (@JatIkhwan) June 2, 2021
The product listing drew swift backlash, with social media users accusing the fashion house of cultural appropriation and exploitation.
“Profiting off the oppressed people of Palestine is beyond disgraceful @LouisVuitton why don’t you speak up about the genocide & ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people (sic),” wrote one Twitter user.
profiting off the oppressed people of Palestine is beyond disgraceful @LouisVuitton why don’t you speak up about the genocide & ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people #LouisVuitton #kuffiye #FreePalestine #Palestine #bts #ARMY #Gaza #kufiya #keffieh #keffiyeh #Zionist pic.twitter.com/lw0ZMuyHeU
— 🇵🇸 (@aiyaserendipity) June 2, 2021
“@LouisVuitton is politically neutral when it comes to Palestine & Israel, but they’re totally cool w/ making money off the keffiyeh. There better be plans on donating the proceeds to Palestinian victims (sic),” wrote another user.
Fashion watchdog Diet Prada, which has an Instagram following of over 2.7 million, also weighed in with a post highlighting the origins of the keffiyeh.
“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…” Diet Prada wrote, accompanying its post with the hashtags #freepalestine #savesheikhjarrah and #gazaunderattack.
Critics are accusing Luxury house Louis Vuitton of cultural appropriation over its 'keffiyeh-inspired' scarfhttps://t.co/4xXV7C464f
— The National (@TheNationalNews) June 3, 2021
Others also highlighted the blue and white colour of the scarf, which is traditionally red or black and white. Some have pointed out LVMH’s choice of pastels resembles the national colours of Israel.
“This is the symbol of Palestinian’s resistance against the Israeli’s Apartheid. @LouisVuitton wickedly put it on the colours of Israeli flag,” said one Twitter user.