Last week, Louis Vuitton’s latest fine jewellery collection was launched. Featuring a star-studded campaign made up of Kid Cudi, Jin Chen and Alicia Vikander, the drop gained a lot of attention – but for all the wrong reasons.
Consisting of a design that was said to be two interconnected V’s, people were quick to point out the design’s likeness to a ‘Z’ – which has quickly become a pro-war symbol in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Many commented on the collection’s poorly timed release, or the fact that it was released at all right now, suggesting that Louis Vuitton had a lack of consideration for current affairs.
First appearing on Russian tanks, trucks and rocket launchers, the ‘Z’ symbol has become synonymous with Russian troops amidst the ongoing war – inciting fear, and recalling extreme acts of inhumanity and violence. Comments under Louis Vuitton’s original post have called this out, saying ‘you must be kidding’ or asking ‘are you serious?’. Others hashtagged #standwithukraine, or suggest that ‘fashion cannot keep out of war’.
In the midst of this, we asked our community for their thoughts on the matter – was it a genuine oversight, or do brands have a responsibility to make sure things like this don’t happen? As ever, reactions were mixed.
User @feresht_a has gained the most likes on their comment, which implies that people are reading too much into the association by stating that “everything hurts everyone’s feelings nowadays”. However, others are quick to bat this sentiment down, with @nrlnthst replying with sarcasm: “omg lmao so true why can they be less bothered by war?”. No comment.
Alistair comments that “(the design is) a heartbeat on an electrocardiogram. it represents a moment of emotion. it’s not the letter Z, just as the symbols for X and + are not the same”, explaining that there is no direct link between the design and what’s going on in Europe at the moment. This is not disputed – many were primarily taking issue with the timing of the release, citing “bad bad timing” and for the brand to “take the L”.
Summing it up, Mariia stated that “As a Ukrainian, I understand that it was designed prior to war (at least 6 mo), but the timing is really bad. They could have just postponed it at least til the end of the war”. It seems opinions remain divided – what some see as a “reach”, others feel are unforgivable brand oversights.
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