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