PARIS — A racial slur made by perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain during an interview on French television last Friday is continuing to reverberate.
Patrick Lozès, president of the French Representative Council of Black Associations, said in a blog post the group may file a complaint against Guerlain’s parent company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
“It has been six days since Mr. Guerlain made these comments, and for six long days LVMH has not moved to distance itself from them,” Lozès said.
The Association of United African Nations has urged consumers to boycott Guerlain’s products and is organizing a silent march in front of Guerlain’s flagship on the Champs-Elysées for Saturday, encouraging consumers to return any of the brand’s products.
The French television watchdog group has issued a warning to public TV station France 2, on whose news program the comment was made, for not properly controlling its broadcasting.
In addition, SOS Racisme, an organization founded in 1984 to combat racism, has said it will file a complaint.
Jean-Paul Guerlain used a derogatory term in describing how hard he worked to create the famous Samsara fragrance.
Guerlain issued a statement on Tuesday in which it said the perfumer’s comments were “intolerable” and went against the “culture, values, and ethics practiced by the enterprise, which promotes the diversity of talents of all origins.”
The statement stressed that Jean-Paul Guerlain, the fourth and last generation in a family of noses, has not been a shareholder since 1996 and retired in 2002.
“LVMH and Guerlain are one and the same thing,” said a spokeswoman for the luxury goods firm. “We are completely aligned with Guerlain and the statement that they gave.”
Lozès said he had just returned from a trip to the U.S., where he discussed the issue with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist. A Sharpton spokeswomen confirmed the talks with Lozès and said Sharpton has “agreed to come to Paris after the midterm [elections] in early November.”
“All of the major civil rights leaders told me: ‘This is not the image we have of France,’” Lozès said.
A strong international reaction could be harmful to the brand, and potentially to LVMH, just as the luxury goods industry is starting to see signs of an economic turnaround.
“Although Jean-Paul Guerlain is no longer associated with the company, his name is inexorably linked to the brand,” said Robert Passikoff, president and founder of New York-based Brand Keys Inc. “Very few consumers are going to go out of their way to discover his true status and will attach his racial slurs to both the man and the brand.”
Passikoff added, “Comments like these are not only inappropriate, but from a brand perspective, end up creating barriers in an already competitive category.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye