- Some Russians are cutting up their Chanel handbags to protest being barred from buying products in other countries.
- “If Chanel House does not respect its clients, why do we have to respect Chanel House?” a model said.
- Several Russian socialites and influencers have accused the French brand of being anti-Russian.
“If Chanel House does not respect its clients, why do we have to respect Chanel House?”
That’s what Russian model Victoria Bonya stated in an Instagram video on Wednesday (6th April) before cutting a black quilted Chanel purse in half with a pair of industrial scissors.
“Bye-bye,” she said to her 9.3 million Instagram followers as she threw the two pieces aside.
Bonya is one of many Russian influencers who have filmed themselves chopping up their Chanel purses in protest of being barred to purchase the French luxury brand’s products.
Chanel has stopped selling its items to anyone outside Russia who intend to bring them into the country after closing its stores in Russia, a decision that has caused some Russian influencers and socialites to accuse the company of “Russophobia.”
On Wednesday, Marina Ermoshkina, a TV host and actor with more than 299,000 Instagram followers, cut up a dark grey purse with garden shears on the platform.
In her post, she stated, “Not a single bag, not a single thing is worth my love for my Motherland. It’s not worth my respect for myself. I am against Russophobia, I am against a brand that supports Russophobia.”
She went on to say, “Chanel is just an accessory. An accessory that at some point decided to humiliate people, my compatriots, decided to discriminate against people on the basis of nationality, which I will not tolerate. After all, the main thing is principles, and not what is in your hands, but what is inside you.”
When DJ Katya Guseva, who has over 587,000 Instagram followers, destroyed her black Chanel purse with scissors, she stated she was following Ermoshkina’s lead.
“I always dreamed that a Chanel handbag would appear in my wardrobe, and it happened last year,” she wrote in her caption. “But after I learned about the brand’s policy towards Russians, I decided to remove these bags from my daily life until the situation changes.”
She added, “I am against Russophobia, I am against the brand, which supports Russophobia and discrimination against women based on nationality. We Russian girls are beautiful whether we have a Chanel bag or not.”
The influencers got both positive and negative responses from their fans, with some accusing them of making a big deal out of a fashion accessory in the midst of Russia’s war with Ukraine.
As per the statement given by the French luxury brand representative, Chanel complied with “all laws” related to its business and workers, including trade sanctions.
“This is why we have rolled out a process to ask clients for whom we do not know the main residency to confirm that the items they are purchasing will not be used in Russia,” the representative explained.
“We recognize that this process of walking through the law has caused disappointment to some of our clients,” the person added. “We are currently working on improving this approach and we apologize for any misunderstanding this may have caused, as welcoming all our clients, regardless of where they come from, is a priority for Chanel.”