Louis Vuitton: 'I'm Sorry'

Louis Vuitton, the luxury brand that launched a trillion knockoffs, has just been made to taste its own medicine. Today, the company released an apology to Dutch artist Anthony Beeke for stealing his work. In 2005, WWD reports today, a promotional event at the luxury luggage maker’s boutique on the Champs Elyseés featured nude female models who were arranged neatly on the floor. Their bodies spelled out “VBLV.” Together, the flesh-and-blood acronym stood for “Vanessa Beecroft Louis Vuitton.” As it happens, Ms. Beecroft, also an artist, didn’t come up with the idea—Mr. Beeke did, some 35 years prior with his Naked Ladies Alphabet. Neither Louis Vuitton nor Ms. Beecroft gave him any credit or money for their strikingly similar stunt, and now their time is coming due. For now, one thing is exceedingly certain: no one will ever again see nude models spelling out anything for Louis Vuitton.