Romania will ask Louis Vuitton to acknowledge the heritage of its fashion design


A file picture shows women wearing Romanian traditional blouses. Romania's minister of culture says she will request the luxury French fashion house to acknowledge that the clothing directly inspired items in one of its 2024 collections. Photo: AP

Romania’s minister of culture says she will ask French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton to acknowledge that a traditional Romanian blouse directly inspired items in one of its 2024 collections.

"We will request that Louis Vuitton recognise the heritage and cultural value of the traditional blouse model with ribbons,” Raluca Turcan wrote on Facebook late Monday (June 4), adding that it’s an opportunity for international recognition of the "inestimable value” of Romanian tradition.

The blouse in question is known in Romanian as an "IE” (pronounced "E-eh”), which typically has intricate embroidery and tassels and is widely recognised as a symbol of the country’s rich folk culture.

Read more: How designers like Malaysia's Melinda Looi are weaving heritage into fashion

In 2022, the garments with a specific style of embroidery were added to a Unesco list of intangible cultural heritage.

Louis Vuitton did not immediately respond to questions sent by The Associated Press.

The allegedly inspired garments were in creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Resort 2024 collection for Louis Vuitton, where many items cost thousands of dollars.

The campaign for Louis Vuitton to "give credit” to Romanian heritage was launched on Sunday (June 2) by the online community La Blouse Roumaine, which has long urged fashion houses to credit collections that appropriate traditional clothing.

"We need to protect our intangible cultural heritage. It’s our cultural right to express our identity through these garments, through these traditional costumes,” Andreea Diana Tanasescu, the founder of La Blouse Roumaine, said.

"They are part of Romanian history.”

Read more: 'Their textiles tell a story': How fashion can help preserve cultural heritage

The outcry is not the first of its kind in Romania. In 2017, US designer Tory Burch changed the description of one of her designs, a traditional Romanian-style coat, after her brand angered thousands of Romanians for marketing it as a garment inspired by Africa.

Burch said they had "missed a reference to a beautiful Romanian coat which inspired one of the pieces”. – AP

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