by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Fashion
Tags: .

Fashion icon Louis Vuitton is pulling out the legal big guns in an effort to stop an art student from selling a t-shirt for Divest For Darfur — a national campaign that encourages investment firms to withdraw investments from companies that help fund genocide in Darfur.

At the center of all the angst is a tee designed by Nadia Plesner. It features a ‘fashionista’ Darfur victim looking very similar to Paris Hilton — something Plesner intended to convey the media’s disconnect with important issues. “I wanted to try to portray how distorted it is, how parts of the media prioritize between small and big world news. Even with the terrible genocide going on in Darfur, Paris Hilton is getting most of the attention,” she said. “If all it takes to make the front page is a designer bag and a small dog, maybe it’s worth trying that for the people who really need attention.”

Her design has made a huge impact — and at $53 each — has been raising substantial money for Divest For Darfur. Then, in February, Plesner received a “Cease and Desist” letter from Vuitton claiming the bag in her design was “confusingly similar” to “the Louis Vuitton Monogram Multicolore Trademark.” Yea, because when I look at that t-shirt all I’m thinking is “Wow, that looks like a Louis Vuitton bag.” Shallow. Real shallow.

At present, Plesner has refused to stop selling the shirts – something costing her $20,000/day in lawsuit terms. Her hope — as well as those that represent her — is that a meeting later this month with the company will convince those against to join up instead. In the meantime, you can show your support by picking up one of the brilliant tees here.

via ABC News

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Jennae Petersen

    This lawsuit is absolutely ridiculous. I know they will cry that they are protecting their brand, but anyone with half a brain who sees that t-shirt will understand exactly what the artist is trying to depict.

    Visit for eco-friendly home decor products and tips!

  • erin

    i agree with Jennae on this one.

    i’ve also alway thought all his “handbags” were dog ugly…

  • Citizen

    This is Louis Vuitton’s opportunity to show the international community they are in full support of ending such oppression and devastation but why do I think they truly are only concerned with the Paris Hilton’s of the world. Sad.

  • EightB

    And lets not forgot their support of Nazis during WWII:

    “During the Vichy regime, the Vuitton family actively supported Nazi Germany (for the financial benefit of the company) while it wielded influence in France.[4]”

  • Pingback: Louis Vuitton Show Some Sensitivity! « xica bahia()

  • Xai Charles

    Profit over lives. This is what Louis Vuitton is saying by suing Nadia Plesner. Hopefully this lawsuit will cause negative attention to Louis Vuitton and they will be forced to save face.

    I would love to ask Kimora Lee Simmons, who has one of the largest Vuitton collections what she thinks of all this. Would she give them up?

    Anyway, the important thing is that we should all do what we can to bring attention to this cause.

  • NKY

    They should let it go. It’s for a good cause.