Louis Vuitton to sue t-shirt designer

DANISH art student Nadia Plesner, who is being sued by the fashion house Louis Vuitton for depicting its handbag on a T-shirt, says her design has got more people talking about the Darfur conflict than she ever thought.

Plesner, one of a group of designers who are trying to raise awareness of the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, created an image of a child victim of the conflict holding a tiny dog and a trademark patterned Louis Vuitton handbag.

“Everyone knows the image of a small starving black child. We have seen it so many times now, but it doesn’t work anymore,” said the 26-year-old.

Plesner has been inundated with orders for the image on T-shirts and posters since the fashion house decided to take her to court.

Louis Vuitton has taken issue with her unauthorised use of its trademark and copyright “for commercial purposes”.

“This issue is important to Louis Vuitton because it directly impacts the brand on which our company has been built and which we must protect,” the company said in a statement.

Louis Vuitton said a court had issued an injunction on March 25 ordering Plesner to stop selling products that infringed its intellectual property rights.

Plesner is due to meet Louis Vuitton executives in Paris on May 30, and said she hoped to convince them to work with her.

“I don’t want to change the bag but I need to discuss with my lawyers what can we do,” she said.

Plesner said she had more than 4,000 orders for either T-shirts at €35 a piece or posters at €13. She said profits were going to the Divest for Darfur campaign www.savedarfur.org/page/content/index/.


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