“Standing against any political action,” he wrote by the cover of Evelyn Thomas’s 1980s dance hit “High Energy.” “I am a fashion designer refusing this association #trumpisajoke #homophobia.”
Representatives for Louis Vuitton, one of the brands owned by luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, declined to comment.
In the works since 2017, the new facility in rural Alvarado, Tex., employs about 150 people producing handbags that will carry “Made in the USA” labels, according to the Dallas Morning News. Louis Vuitton plans to continue expanding the plant and expects to have 1,000 employees there within the next few years.
Trump visited the site Thursday in between campaign stops in Texas, touting it as an example of “the extraordinary revival of American manufacturing.” Joining him were his daughter and son-in-law, senior White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with other administration officials. As cameras snapped, they toured the facility, chatted with workers and admired bags.
The president praised Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault as “a great businessman but also a visionary,” as well as “an artist, really,” Women’s Wear Daily reported. He joked, “Louis Vuitton is a name I know very well; it’s cost me a lot of money over the years,” although he mispronounced the brand’s name.
Arnault said the event showed his company’s commitment to its American market, as well as “the commitment of President Trump to the American worker.” He sought to portray the highly publicized event as nonpolitical.
“We are very honored to have the president of the United States. I’m not here to judge any types of policies,” Arnault said, according to Women’s Wear Daily. “I’m here to work with my brand, and we are going to, over five years, have 1,000 people working here, and that’s what matters.”
Yet a backlash quickly began building. Grab Your Wallet — a campaign that encourages consumers to boycott Trump-affiliated companies — added Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy brands to its list. To be removed, the campaign says, the company must “make a statement that LVMH regrets the appearance and does not have plans to conduct future press events with the Trump administration.”
Meanwhile, Ghesquière’s criticism won praise from others in the fashion industry. Commenting appeared to have been turned off on the Instagram post by Tuesday. But earlier, the New York Times reported, Louis Vuitton creative director for accessories Camille Miceli, stylists Karla Welch and Elizabeth Stewart and designers Giambattista Valli and Julien Dossena were among those applauding it.