Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Islamophobic? Not in those heels!

Via Belgian Elle
BBC reports that shoe designer Christian Louboutin has won a court case to prevent Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang from using his shoes in one of their anti-islam campaigns.

The legs, belonging to Vlaams Belang Senator Anke Van dermeersch, are marked at intervals of exposure from "Sharia-compliant" at floor level, to "moderate Islam," "provocation" "slut," "whore," "rape," and finally "stoning." The headline reads "Freedom, or Islam?" (All translated via Google.)

A judge at the Antwerp court gave the party 24 hours in which to take down the posters. They replaced it with this one, which replaces Louboutin's iconic red soles with Flemish yellow:

Via The Telegraph
(I'm not sure if that's Ms. Van dermeersch posing again. It seems an odd thing for a politician to do, but she is also a former professional model and Miss Belgium 1991.)

While it isn't surprising that a luxury fashion brand would not want to be associated with this kind of exclusionary political message, it's interesting to note that Louboutin has just launched a line of "nude" shoes in a variety of skin tones.

UPDATE: My Osocio colleague Tatjana (via her friend Srećko Šekeljić) informs me that this ad concept was actually ripped off from an artwork by young Canadian artist Rosea Lake:

Via Huffington Post

When she posted the piece on Tumblr in January, Ms. Lake wrote:
I took this last year, but in retrospect, I think it’s my strongest piece from high school.
Working on this project really made me examine my own opinions, preconceptions and prejudices about “slutty” women and women who choose to cover all of their skin alike. I used to assume that all women who wore Hijabs were being oppressed, slut-shame, and look down on and judge any woman who didn’t express her sexuality in a way that I found appropriate. 
I’d like to think I’m more open now.
Oh, the irony.

There is now, of course, a Facebook page dedicated to this.

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