Executives at Louis Vuitton have thrown a shovel-full of embarrassment in the face of rapper Rick Ross.
Michael D. Pantalony, who heads the fashion brand, has written an open letter to the publishers of XXL magazine over their May 2009 issue, which features Ross on the cover. In it Pantalony chides the publication for allowing the rapper to pose in a pair of counterfeit shades, writing, “The sunglasses Mr. Ross is wearing were not made by Louis Vuitton, and in fact, are counterfeit. Louis Vuitton did not grant permission to Mr. Ross or to whoever did make the sunglasses to use our trademarks.”
Louis Vuitton is notorious for its strict control of it’s use in promotional material, limiting and in some cases banning the use of, Louis Vuitton merchandise in music videos.
Read Michael D. Pantalony’s open letter below.
We were dismayed to see the cover of the May 2009 issue of XXL Magazine, which features a photo of Rick Ross wearing a pair of sunglasses prominently featuring counterfeit Louis Vuitton trademarks. Because the photo has generated considerable confusion among your readers and Louis Vuitton customers among others, we feel it is important to clarify several points.
The first is that the sunglasses Mr. Ross is wearing were not made by Louis Vuitton, and in fact, are counterfeit. Louis Vuitton did not grant permission to Mr. Ross or to whoever did make the sunglasses to use our trademarks. The second is that no affiliation, sponsorship or association exists between Rick Ross or XXL and Louis Vuitton. The third is that counterfeiting is illegal.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to correct the confusion.
Michael D. Pantalony, Esq.