Louis Vuitton gets Kobe museum to pull ‘knockoffs’

KOBE (Kyodo) Nine artworks using material from fake Louis Vuitton products have been removed from an exhibition at a Kobe museum after the fashion company protested, it was learned Sunday.

The 40-cm-long pieces by Mitsuhiro Okamoto of Kyoto are shaped like locusts and titled “Batta-mon” (“Locust Stuff”). In the Kansai dialect, batta-mon is slang for knockoff.

Kobe Fashion Museum received a letter from Louis Vuitton on May 6 that argued the works damage the image of its luxury products because they were made from material from counterfeit products.

“The works are not showing positive views of copycat products, just reflecting the social situation,” Okamoto said.

Viewers should consider if the material really came from fake items or genuine products, Okamoto said.

“That’s also part of the theme” of the works, he said.

Louis Vuitton declined further comment.