Louis Vuitton forced to pull ‘Jamaican Stripe’ jumper after getting flag’s colours wrong

The French fashion house mistakenly used red, green and yellow

In the latest cultural blunder from the fashion world, French company Louis Vuitton has withdrawn a £995 men’s jumper from sale after getting the colours of the Jamaican flag wrong.

Despite describing the horizontally striped jumper on its website as the “Jamaican Stripe”, and as being “inspired by the Caribbean island’s nation flag”, shoppers were surprised to see the colours of green, yellow and red.

The Jamaican flag is, in fact, green, yellow and black.

Louis Vuitton has withdrawn from sale a jumper it claimed was inspired by the Jamaican flag. Courtesy Louis Vuitton 
Louis Vuitton has withdrawn from sale a jumper it claimed was inspired by the Jamaican flag. Courtesy Louis Vuitton 

The mistake was first spotted online by @pam_boy who tweeted: “I cannot stress enough how important it is to implement diversity as a value and not a symbol within fashion companies.”

One Twitter user simply asked: “So no one at Louis Vuitton Googled the Jamaican flag?”

The colours of red, green and yellow instead seem to refer to the Rastafarian faith, which uses a flag of the same colours, with a Lion of Judah at the centre.

These are also the colours used in the flag of Ethiopia, as highlighted by the daughter of the late reggae singer Bob Marley.

Cedella Marley posted a comment as if from her father, saying: “Bob says that’s the Ethiopian flag, Louis Vuitton.”

After the mistake was spotted, Louis Vuitton amended the online description to remove the word “flag” and replace it with the words “cultural heritage”.

The product was then removed completely from the website.

The menswear for Louis Vuitton is designed by Virgil Abloh, an American of Ghanian heritage. The colours of Ghana’s flag are also red, green and yellow.

Louis Vuitton isn’t the first fashion label to withdraw a product from shelves after such a faux pas.

In 2019, Nike cancelled the release of a limited-edition shoe after it was accused of “pirating” a protected traditional design from Panama, while that same year, Gucci was criticised for promoting blackface, with a balaclava that featured cartoonish red lips.

Many have commented online that this points to the need for having more diverse teams at fashion houses, working at every level in order to battle structural racism and avoid issues like the Louis Vuitton one happening again.

The Guardian has approached Louis Vuitton for comment.

THE GUARDIAN

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