The Ministry of Culture sent a letter to the French fashion house claiming for the alleged use of "embroidery that is made and are the intellectual property" of an indigenous community for the lining of an armchair from its Dolls by Raw Edges collection.
In mid-June, the Mexican government filed a complaint against the famous designer Carolina Herrera for a collection inspired by indigenous motives that was singled out for plagiarism and "cultural appropriation." Now it is the turn of the luxury French brand Louis Vuitton, questioned by using colorful indigenous designs from the center of the country to elaborate the lining of an expensive armchair.
The Mexican Ministry of Culture, as he did a month ago with Herrera, has directed a letter to the French design firm in which he states that he has learned "with surprise that in the Dolls by Raw Edges collection of his signature , a chair appears (model R98619) in which elements that are part of and are identified with the embroidery that is made and are the intellectual property of the community of Tenango de Doria "are reproduced, in Higaldo, a central-eastern state of the country.
The secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto, who subscribes to the letter dated July 5, asks Vuitton "if for the elaboration of the chair (...) they looked for and in their case they had the collaboration of the community and their artisans ".
"Each handcrafted piece is unique and unrepeatable and is, at the same time, the result of the continuity of the work of many generations that transmit knowledge, skill, and above all creativity", explains the Secretary of Culture, alluding to the "vast cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, "of Mexico.
The chair of the controversy belongs to the series Dolls by Raw Edges and sells for $ 18,200. Among them is a design whose support shows typical motifs - multicolored animals - of the Otomí ethnic group, whose communities live in Tenango de Doria, in the central state of Hidalgo.
On the official website and the social networks of Louis Vuitton, the furniture questioned by the Mexican government has been eliminated, although other objects from the same collection still appear.
The Mexican government invited the French firm to participate in "a work table" together with the indigenous communities to achieve "direct and concrete benefits for all parties" and "give due recognition to the community in which the appropriation was made. cultural".
The creative director of the brand, Wes Gordon, defended himself by saying that "he pays homage to the richness of Mexican culture" and recognizes "the wonderful and diverse craft work" of the country.
A month ago, the Mexican government also made a similar claim to Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera for the Resort 2020 collection, inspired by the "Mexican cultural wealth," according to Gordon.
According to the López Obrador government, the items exhibited in the collection could constitute an appropriation of the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Latin American country, despite the fact that the clothing brand insists on seeking to evoke a sunrise in Tulum, Quintana Roo (southeast ) and a walk through Mexico City.
Also in a letter, Frausto asked the famous fashion designer and its creative director "an explanation for the use of designs and embroidery of native peoples", whose origin, he said, "is fully documented."
In response to the letter, the renowned firm argued that its collection seeks to pay homage to Mexican culture with respect; besides demonstrating the pride that the brand has for its Latin American origin.