Louis Vuitton is getting hit left and right this week. First, Kanye West dissed the Paris-based design house (you can see that drama summed up in four tweets right here) and now the brand is facing backlash following the installation of a 30-foot-tall, 112-foot-long (that’s two stories tall – FYI) monogramed trunk in Russia’s Red Square. The problem is: the LV trunk was installed right next to the mausoleum containing a mummified Vladimir Lenin, and as a result, Alexander Sidyakin, a member of the Russian parliament, filed a complaint with the country’s antitrust watchdog asking it to determine if the French luxury goods maker violated advertising laws with the installation. Turns out, it does.
“The Soul of Travel” was erected as a temporary installation to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the nearby GUM mall, where Louis Vuitton has its flagship Russian store. According to a representative from the GUM mall, Louis Vuitton had received full governmental clearance before having it installed. However, Sidyakin’s complaint alleges that the installation is of “unreasonably gigantic size” and violates the architectural feel of the entire complex.
Specifically, Sidyakin says the structure obscures views of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin towers and may inconvenience Muscovites and tourists alike. The makeshift LV trunk, which was to house a six-week show, the proceeds of which were slated to go to the Naked Heart Foundation, a children’s charity backed by Russian supermodel (and girlfriend of Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH) Natalia Vodianova, is set to be removed immediately.
In other news, Louis Vuitton is still the most valuable luxury brand in the world.