Louis Vuitton is known for its total exclusivity, but the brand’s latest releases really exhibit poor taste. Behind a kite that costs more than $10K, Louis Vuitton is facing backlash from the Hindu community over a yoga mat made out of cow leather. The mat’s existence prompted Rajan Zed of the Universal Society of Hinduism to call for an apology from Louis Vuitton and request that the luxury brand remove the yoga mat from circulation.
Though this seems like a huge oversight by LV, we can’t say we’re surprised. The brand caters to a privileged group, and the luxury label’s products lean towards excessivity. Only a rich person would feel comfortable sweating on a leather yoga mat costing over $2,000.
Poor practice — An extravagant yoga mat made of cowhide annihilates the very idea of yoga and its history. Although yoga is sometimes understood as a form of workout in other parts of the world, the practice is actually an ancient discipline introduced by Hinduism. To perform the act on a mat made from a killed cow — a sacred figure that is the seat of many deities in the religion — is “painful,” Zed commented.
Zed called on Louis Vuitton executives to apologize and adhere to the brand’s corporate code of conduct, which includes commitments to ethical and social responsibility. The company “should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, mocking serious spiritual practices and ridiculing entire communities,” he said.
So far, Louis Vuitton has not commented on the issue, but the insensitive yoga mat has been removed from the brand’s website. Originally retailing at $2,390, the leather mat featured all-over LV branding, a monogram canvas strap, and a matching LV branded cardholder. Just… why?
Flying too close to the sun — As much as the Louis Vuitton team might want to fly away from this issue, it can’t escape another monster of its own creation. In addition to the insensitive yoga mat, LV has continued its tradition of spitting on poor people with the release of a $10,400 monogrammed kite.
The outdoor accessory is crafted with technical nylon fabric and covered in the house’s signature monogram print. It can be packed up in a matching brown monogram canvas case with a leather strap, so you can carry the kite anywhere from the park to your private rooftop. Unlike the yoga mat, you can still purchase this unnecessary accessory on Louis Vuitton’s website.
Hopefully in the new year, Louis Vuitton will be inspired to make some executive changes. We’d love to see something exclusive to the brand with more inclusive thinking.