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  1. #1
    Rising Bag Star archie42's Avatar
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    Default Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Hello all,
    Found a very interesting article int he UK Guardian. It outlines the truth about Louis Vuitton and the Nazi's ..... whilst I am a big fan of Louis Vuitton I believe in telling the full truth at all times. It appears Louis Vuitton has a few skeletons.

    I do not believe for 1 moment that Louis Vuitton is racist or Nazi in leaning today. Infact LV is a very dynamic company. Mark Jaccobs is Jewish (and proudly so).

    Article at:-
    Louis Vuitton's links with Vichy regime exposed | World news | The Guardian

    Louis Vuitton's links with Vichy regime exposedKim Willsher in Paris

    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 3 June 2004 02.41 BST
    Article history
    The luxury goods company Louis Vuitton collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of France in the second world war, according to a new book.
    A French author has uncovered previously unpublished details of the firm's support for the Vichy regime which was responsible for the deportation of French Jews to German concentration camps.

    The book, Louis Vuitton, A French Saga, says members of the Vuitton family actively supported the puppet government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain and made money from their business dealings with the Germans.

    Its author, Stephanie Bonvicini, says she made the discovery while researching the rags-to-riches story of the firm's founder, Louis Vuitton, to mark its 150th anniversary this year.

    Louis Vuitton's LV-embossed suitcases and bags are popular with a wealthy and famous clientele including the Beckhams, the models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, and the actors Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Hurley.

    The company is now owned by the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët-Hennessy) group, which recently opened two huge stores in Paris and New York.

    Bonvicini says she was given full cooperation by the firm when she proposed writing the book a year ago. But when she asked about its wartime activities, she was told that company documents for the years 1930 to 1945 had been destroyed in a fire.

    "Their attitude changed completely the moment I mentioned the war years, from being very helpful to not responding to questions at all," she said.

    From historical archives she discovered that Louis Vuitton had a store on the ground floor of a fabulous property, the Hotel du Parc, in Vichy where Pétain set up his puppet government. While the other shopkeepers, including the jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels, were shut down, Vuitton was the only one allowed to stay.

    Bonvicini says she talked to surviving family members and found that Vuitton's grandson, Gaston, the wartime head of the company, had instructed his eldest son, Henry, to forge links with the Pétain regime to keep the business going.

    Henry, a regular at the local cafe frequented by the Gestapo, was one of the first Frenchmen to be decorated by the Nazi-backed government for his loyalty and his efforts for the regime.

    But the most damaging allegation is that the family set up a factory dedicated to producing artefacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts, a fact not mentioned in any of its business records.

    "Part of the collaboration was due to the family's obsession with the survival of the company, and part down to the fact that there was a certain sympathy with the regime's rightwing views," the author said.

    Louis Vuitton, born in rural France in 1821, set up his company in 1854 after travelling to Paris at the age of 14 with just a few francs in his pocket. Later he made trunks for the French empress Eugénie.

    After Louis died in 1892, his son, Georges, expanded the company and developed the world's first "designer label". He introduced the distinctive beige-on-brown LV monogram to mark Vuitton products out from cheap copies.

    Today the multimillion pound LVMH group has 314 Vuitton shops in 52 countries.

    Bonvicini says the company was at first "extremely keen" on the book and promised to promote it and ensure it was published in English and Japanese. But since it appeared on April 7, LVMH has wanted nothing to do with it, and it has received little press coverage.

    The head of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, is one of the richest men in France and the firm is the country's biggest advertiser in the press.

    Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher, Fayard, said: "They have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn't exist."

    Bonvicini added: "Nobody is prepared to risk losing their advertising revenue. But it's scandalous that everyone is just ignoring the book. I can't understand why the company has adopted this attitude. The Vuittons weren't the only ones to collaborate, and of course the company's values have changed now."

    A spokesman for LVMH said last night: "This is ancient history. The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse, tolerant and all the things a modern company should be."

    LMVH says the wartime period does not warrant 50 pages of the book.

    "We don't deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode," an LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine Le Canard Enchainé, the only French publication to mention the book.

    He added: "We haven't put any pressure on anyone. If the journalists want to censor themselves, then that suits us fine."

    Louis Vuitton is concerned about upsetting the powerful Jewish constituency in America, which has already conducted one inquiry into the company.

    Michel Zaoui, a lawyer and spokesman for the Jewish council in France, said it was the first he had heard of the book or the allegations.

    "It is extremely important that these matters are publicised and known by the general public.

    "However, since the people involved are now dead, it would seem ridiculous to organise a boycott of Louis Vuitton goods. We would not want that. If they were still involved in anti-semitic activities, that would be different.

    "What does shock, but not surprise me, is that the French press has not publicised this book and that I'm hearing about it from a foreign journalist, but that's the French press."

  2. #2
    The Asian Sensation
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Great info. I love reading about history.

  3. #3
    *The TBF Elite* Maeveyblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    I really don't know how to feel about this.
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  4. #4
    Totally Purse Obsessed Arianne12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Wow, that's interesting. A lot of companies were involved one thing or another in questionable alliances in the past. I think Mitsubishi were making planes flown by kamikaze pilots during WW2. I mean I'm sure companies like Mercedes Benz may have had some links with the Nazi party (don't quote me on this) but attitudes and beliefs have changed since over 60 years ago. Thank goodness. But it's an interesting read nonetheless.

  5. #5
    Official Bagista
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Quote Originally Posted by Arianne12 View Post
    Wow, that's interesting. A lot of companies were involved one thing or another in questionable alliances in the past. I think Mitsubishi were making planes flown by kamikaze pilots during WW2. I mean I'm sure companies like Mercedes Benz may have had some links with the Nazi party (don't quote me on this) but attitudes and beliefs have changed since over 60 years ago. Thank goodness. But it's an interesting read nonetheless.
    ITA with you. There were so many companies who supported the Nazi's that we can't just single out Louis Vuitton. Thank God we are past such a terrible time in history and we can all learn from the mistakes of the past.

  6. #6
    LvoeMyOhana cruznit1436's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Very interesting...Thanks for posting Archie!
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  7. #7
    ♥ Moderator ♥ Zombiegirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Quote Originally Posted by KANMP View Post
    ITA with you. There were so many companies who supported the Nazi's that we can't just single out Louis Vuitton. Thank God we are past such a terrible time in history and we can all learn from the mistakes of the past.
    ITA with you KANMP!
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  8. #8
    Jacqueline coach-princess348's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Quote Originally Posted by KANMP View Post
    ITA with you. There were so many companies who supported the Nazi's that we can't just single out Louis Vuitton. Thank God we are past such a terrible time in history and we can all learn from the mistakes of the past.
    ITA with you too KANMP

  9. #9
    Rising Bag Star emilieLV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    All I can say is "wow"....
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  10. #10
    Bag Admirer daffodil-gal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Wasn't Chanel close to the Nazis too? I agree that it's wonderful that time is past.
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  11. #11
    The Bag Star M_Butterfly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    ^^ Yes she was!!

  12. #12
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    I don't see what the big deal is. The Nazis had control over a very large area and everyone's futures at the time looked very bleak. Many companies, not just LV, did what they had to in order to survive. I can understand why they would feel uncomfortable talking about it though. That isn't exactly a pleasant period of history there.

  13. #13
    Rising Bag Star chicken956's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    I remember reading this when that book Deluxe by Dana Thomas came out. You should read about what Coco Chanel did
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    Louis Vuitton is (still) an anti-semetic company --- and they are racist too.

    Just Google the "Louie Vuitton" and "racism" -- Just a while ago one of the company's VIPs went on national television in France and repeatedly referred to black people as n-word (no this is not a joke).

  15. #15
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Vuitton's Nazi past...

    ^^^ So if this is true, then why do they employ Marc Jacobs as creative director?
    Last edited by boysRsmelly; January 5th, 2011 at 06:44 PM.

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