Controversy has erupted on social media over Louis Vuitton’s decision to sell a $705 “Monogram Keffieh Stole”, apparently inspired by the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh, according to an Arab News report.
At the time of writing, Louis Vuitton appears to have removed the product from its online stores. The brand did not respond to a request for comment.
Fashion watchdog Instagram account, Diet Prada, as well as influencers, including Palestinian-Puerto Rican model, Maria Alia, and blogger and podcast host, Noor Elkhaldi, shared images of the item and commented on the symbolism of the keffiyeh, which has become tied to the Palestinian nationalism movement. Others pointed out that the keffiyeh has long been appropriated by western fashion brands, not just Louis Vuitton.
Khaled A. Beydoun, a leading scholar on Islamophobia, wrote a widely-shared Instagram post that derided the price of Louis Vuitton’s scarf; its colour change from the traditional black and white, to blue and white; and the timing of selling such an item given the recent outbreak of violence in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This controversy comes as social media users in the Arab world, a growing luxury consumer market, are increasingly calling out fashion brands they feel don’t align with their values.
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