FASHION AVENUE| Louis Vuitton Faces Boycott Threat After Trump Visits Factory

MILAN/ITALY – Grab Your Wallet, a group that asks shoppers to boycott business with ties to Donald Trump’s family and administration, is adding Louis Vuitton and other LVMH brands to its list.

LVMH is facing a boycott threat after the French luxury house invited President Donald Trump to the opening of a new Louis Vuitton factory in Texas earlier this week.

Grab Your Wallet, a group that calls on shoppers to boycott businesses associated with the Trump family and administration has added LVMH brands to its list of corporations to avoid, Shannon Coulter, one of the movement’s founders told Business of Fashion.

The group organized shortly before the 2016 election after recordings emerged of Trump disparaging women on the set of Access Hollywood. Grab Your Wallet had an early win when its call for consumers to boycott Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and stores that carried it appeared to contribute to a decline in sales. Trump closed her brand last year.

Most brands on Grab Your Wallet’s list were targeted for financial ties to Trump, including SoulCycle and the Hudson Yards mall in Manhattan. Stephen Ross, the developer of Hudson Yards and chairman of Equinox-owned SoulCycle, held a fundraiser for Trump in August.

LVMH is the first owner of consumer brands to make the list that is not financially involved with the Trump family or administration, Coulter said.

It’s unlikely that the boycott will have a massive effect on the luxury behemoth; LVMH owns companies like Sephora, Celine, Givenchy, and  Dior just to name a few, and saw record profits of €6.4 billion in 2018. Louis Vuitton is expected to net € 12 billion in sales this year.

But Coulter said plenty of Louis Vuitton customers were angered by Trump’s factory visit.

“Creating jobs is not an excuse to ignore morally repugnant behavior”, Coulter said. “Businesses are willing to look the other way in order to work with the Trump administration, but it’s a worrisome trend”.

LVMH did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump attended the opening ceremony of the Louis Vuitton handbag factory in Johnson Country, Texas alongside LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault, Rimowa CEO Alexandre Arnault, Ivanka Trump, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rosse and others.

The French luxury hoses opened the factory as part of a commitment it made to the Trump Administration to create more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. in 2018, Louis Vuitton signed the Pledge to America’s Workers, a Trump initiative that was also signed by Google, Amazon, and Ford.

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