rants · thoughts

Too low class for you, LV?

I “like” the pages of various dog communities on Facebook and this particular post by SOSD – Save Our Street Dogs caught my eye.

Photo from SOSD’s Facebook page.

The road to saving stray dogs is an uphill one, filled with set backs & difficulties. 

Esquire Magazine asked me yesterday why, I, an aesthetics doctor who people will view as being living in glamour & driving a nice car, decided to dedicate my life to doing this. I replied that before I started saving street dogs, I was indeed one of such people- chasing the “Singapore dream”. But embarking on such a journey changes you profoundly. At the beginning, people thought I was doing this to get attention, waiting for me to give up. My colleagues, parents and loved ones were dead against it, telling me to spend my time and money doing better things. But compassion is a  universal language. We may all have different views, but at our core, everyone speaks the same simple language of kindness – not only to humans, but to animals as well. That is what unites us in saving Singapore’s street dogs. 

My interview with the good people at Esquire Magazine yesterday was supposed to be for a charity fundraiser with Louis Vuitton . LV donated some items which would be auctioned, and the proceeds donated to Save Our Street Dogs. But in a dramatic turn of events, during the photoshoot, I was informed by Esquire that Louis Vuitton had decided to take a different direction with the project, and that one of the charities didn’t fit in that direction. I wasn’t told which one but it was easy to figure out it was me – because LV felt that mongrel, homeless dogs, do not fit their brand image. 

It is an difficult road we have chosen to take, because many corporations and people are still blinded only with superficial glitter & bright lights, falsely holding onto the belief that the make-belief world of “luxury” they have crafted for themselves is the real one. To these corporations and people, “charity” is merely a means of making their brand look better, or making themselves look good – not for altruism. 

These people have forgotten the most important language of all – the language of compassion.

I like to think that LV has their side of the story for pulling out of the fundraiser at the last minute but until that side of the story is heard, my opinions shall remain.

I have never bought/owned an LV product in my entire life. Granted, it is for personal reasons, i .e. I don’t like their designs and I generally think that people carry the brand not because they genuinely like it but because it is seen as a status symbol (have you seen the number of aunties toting LV bags but wearing Crocs and shorts at the market?). After reading about this, I am so totally NOT going to purchase anything from the brand, whether for myself or otherwise.

Maybe LV should take a leaf out of Ralph Lauren’s book. They recently did a marketing campaign called The Dog Walk, using rescue dogs in the campaign, as well as on the runway. Side note: How cute are the doggies?!?! To top it off, 10% of all purchases will be donated to the ASPCA. To me, this altruistic move will bring way more PR mileage than any other ads via traditional channels. I was never a fan of RL products but after this, I shall take a second look when I walk past their store. Just to check out their cute dog accessories (never mind if I can’t afford them).

Ralph Lauren 1 – Louis Vuitton 0.


2 thoughts on “Too low class for you, LV?

  1. This “too low class” sentiment is based on his assumptions. Any brand can pull out of charities. They do it all the time. Based on inability to meet timeline, organisational approval processes, the progress of the event (a company like LV will definitely pull out of an event for reasons such as safety or even if the event is not being handled according to promised criteria) and yes, even misalignment of objectives. For example (I am not saying this is true), if a charity event is not able to run its publicity enough and only has 20 people attending an auction, would any company donate their goods for an auction? How about if the other sponsors are of shady origin (like maybe companies affiliated with cigarettes?) Would you as a marketing person on the other end of the sponsorship continue with the program? Anyway, we may never know why they pulled out or even if they agreed in the first place, to the charity event. What we have is a hearsay and assumptions. And you know what they say about assumptions….

    I have to say, this piece of news reeks of sensationalism and name dropping. If they were rejected by Bossini. They wouldn’t have kicked such a big fuss. It’s because they have expectations out of big corporations and want to use the shaming method. I think we are a bit too keen to jump on the “hate” bandwagon.

    1. Hi Woof Pup,

      Thanks for the lengthy response to my entry. I see your point and as I have written in my entry above, “I like to think that LV has their side of the story for pulling out of the fundraiser at the last minute but until that side of the story is heard, my opinions shall remain.” Hence, this entry is my personal opinion/take on the matter based on what is public knowledge.

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