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Mexico questions Louis Vuitton over possible appropriation

July 10, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — The French fashion house Louis Vuitton said Wednesday that it is in contact with Mexican artisans after the Mexican government criticized a new chair line over possible cultural appropriation, the second dispute of its kind in as many months between the country and the world of fashion.

“We are currently in a relationship with artisans of Tenango de Doria in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, with the perspective of collaborating together to produce this collection,” Louis Vuitton said in a brief statement emailed to The Associated Press.

The response came after Mexican Culture Secretary Alejandra Frausto sent the company a letter last week expressing “surprise” that a chair in the Dolls by Raw Edges line incorporated colorful embroidery motifs similar to those traditional to Tenango de Doria.

Frausto said the government felt obligated to “respectfully” ask whether the community and its artisans had been part of the project, and proposed “a work group where we dialogue as equals, business, government and communities.”

In June, Frausto sent a similar letter accusing Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera of appropriating Mexican artisanal patterns in its Resort 2020 collection.

The fashion house responded at the time that it recognized the “wonderful and diverse craft and textile work of Mexican artisans” and that the collection was inspired “by the culture’s rich colors and artisanal techniques.”

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