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January 10, 2023 9:43 am
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Louis Vuitton Slammed for Hiring ‘Ardent Antisemite’ Bella Hadid for New Campaign

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avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Bella Hadid. Photo: Marie Claire Korea via Wikimedia Commons.

The French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton is being criticized by Israel advocates for hiring model Bella Hadid to be the face of its new collaboration with famed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in light of her past antisemitic and anti-Israel remarks and her participation in a pro-Palestinian rally that called for the destruction of Israel last year.

“It is imperative that influential people be held to account for their deeds and words,” Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told The Algemeiner. “Ms Hadid has repeatedly been identified with expressing hate promoting messages and inciting comments. LVMH should be particularly sensitive to this and should disassociate from her. Send a message that there will be no more no excuses, no exception. Jew hatred will not be tolerated.”

In 2021, during the conflict between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip, Bella participated in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York City and joined protesters in chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The slogan calls for the destruction of the Jewish state in favor of a Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Hadid shared a photo from the rally on her Instagram page and in the image she was standing next to Waseem Awawdeh, who was arrested days after the protest for allegedly beating up a Jewish man and calling him a “filthy Jew.”

On Instagram she has posted “Free Palestine” messages and also accused Israel in the past of “colonization, ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid over the Palestinian people that has been going on for YEARS!” Bella told Vogue magazine in an interview that the Israeli government is “suppressing people” and previously posted on Instagram about “Palestinian oppression” under Israel. A petition was even launched in 2021 that urged major companies to drop Bella and Gigi as brand ambassadors for inciting antisemitism and spreading “misinformation” about Israel.

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Hadid, 26, announced her campaign with Louis Vuitton, her first with the luxury brand, on social media on Sunday. She said that not only is she Kusama’s “biggest fan” and “so intrigued with her story and life….but I connect with her deeply on healing mental struggles through artistic freedom and creation.”

Hadid’s mother is Dutch-born former model Yolanda Hadid, her father is Nazareth-born Jordanian real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid and she is also the sister of model Gigi Hadid.

Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism.org, told The Algemeiner she is also saddened by Louis Vuitton’s decision to hire an “ardent antisemite” like Bella to be the face of the brand’s new collaboration with Kusama. She added, “Hadid has shown her true colors time and again, sharing her bigoted opinions about Jewish people and Israel with her millions of followers on social media. With so many beautiful faces to choose from, we question the luxury brand’s choice and ask them to rethink who they want representing them.”

Kusama is known for her extensive use of polka dots and her “infinity installations” around the world. Louis Vuitton’s limited bag collection with will feature the artist’s popular polka dot patterns. The campaign was shot by world famous photographer Steven Meisel and also featured other famous models, including Gisele Bundchen, Christy Turlington, Natalia Vodianova, Liya Kebede, Devon Aoki and Karlie Kloss.

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