Legally Yours. Louis Vuitton Sues Artist for Darfur Designs.

May 7, 2008 • Fashion

In more legal news today, Louis Vuitton has filed a lawsuit against a 26-year-old student artist for
selling posters and t-shirts of a Darfur victim holding a designer bag bearing a Louis Vuitton-like design. Although all of the proceeds of Nadia Plesner‘s Simple Living campaign go to the charity Divest Darfur, we can see how trading so literally on the Louis Vuitton trademark is damaging to the brand. Plesner decided to
dress-up a Darfur victim with a Louis Vuitton-inspired bag, and a Paris
Hilton-style accessory dog.


Louis Vuitton, however, was not amused by Nadia’s
creative expression, and filed a lawsuit where they are claiming over $20,000 a
day, if she continues with the project. The artist says, "My illustration Simple
Living is an idea inspired by the media’s constant coverage of completely
meaningless things. My thought was:
Since doing nothing but wearing designer bags and small ugly dogs
apparently is enough to get you on magazine covers and tons of press, maybe
it is worth a try for me to accessorize people who actually deserve and need the
Plesner’s compositions are meant to juxtapose the frivolity of fashion to the seriousness of the situation in Africa, but the images do seem singly damning to Louis Vuitton.

In addition to the lawsuit, LV has asked charity founder and designer Michael Harris to remove Plesner from his upcoming benefit for Designers for Darfur. Harris, however, is sticking to his guns. He has respectfully
declined to thwart Ms. Plesner’s efforts as he believes it is well within her
artistic freedom and right to portray the current situation continuing to take
place in Darfur in whatever way she deems necessary. Harris has instead
decided to request the good folks of Louis Vuitton cease spending their money
suing a struggling artist, and use their funds and voice to help in Darfur as well. He believes, “If Gucci can use their brand to save the children of Malawi
(Madonna and Gucci collaboration) then I am sure the Louis Vuitton brand could
definitely use their influential LV’s to Save

See more of Plesner’s designs here.

Source: Page Six.

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