Louis Vuitton explores collaboration with Mexican artisans
French fashion house Louis Vuitton said on Wednesday it is in talks with Mexican artisans regarding the production of a controversial collection of chairs. Featuring colourful prints, the collection has sparked accusations of cultural appropriation by the Mexican government.
“We are currently in a relationship with artisans of Tenango de Doria in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, with the perspective of collaborating together to produce this collection,” the fashion house told AP in an email.
Mexico’s culture secretary Alejandra Frausto sent Louis Vuitton a letter last week expressing “surprise” that a chair from the Dolls by Raw Edges collection featured elements which are similar to the handcrafted embroideries of the community of Tenango de Doria.
"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," Frausto said. The letter complained of cultural appropriation and proposed “a work group where we dialogue as equals, business, government and communities.”
This is the second time the Mexican government has sent such a letter to an international fashion brand in as many months.
In June, Frausto sent a letter to the brand of Venezuela fashion designer Carolina Herrera over the use of traditional artisanal elements in one of its latest collections.
The label’s creative director Wes Gordon responded to the claims of cultural appropriation by saying that the collection “pays homage to the wealth of Mexican culture” and that it recognises the country’s “wonderful and diverse artisanal heritage”.
With reporting from AFP and AP
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