Roberto Cavalli, for some, a total genius, for others, a complete jackass.
Being an avid fashion lover, I was of the first people. I think his designs are impeccable. However, in following him on Twitter and what surrounds his company name, I have been enlightened to a terrible connection the House of Cavalli has to religious disrespect.
About two weeks ago, I found the hash tag #TakeOffJustLogo, and being my curious self, I had to investigate. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I found was disheartening. Cavalli’s collection “Just Cavalli” debuted a new logo, one that is undeniably similar to the religious emblem that belongs to MTO Shahmaghsoudi otherwise known as School of Islamic Sufism in Frisco, Texas.
The students of this school have taken their outrage viral, launching petitions and the hashtag to spread their distate for the use of their logo.
According to the article on Styleite, Nasim Bahadorani, a Sufi, a fashion lover, and a doctoral student in health education and promotion, describes her complaints thusly:
“To see the Just Cavalli logo sold on perfume bottles, shirts, sunglasses and to see it tattooed on naked models writhing in sexual lust is disrespectful and demeaning to the value of the Sacred Emblem which stands for universal harmony, unity and awakening of the heart to the reality of infinite existence! This thus becomes outrageous, abhorrent and heartrending.
To add fuel to the flames, he has used our school’s emblem in cheap and provocative ways in his Just Cavalli perfume adverts. It is demoralizing, and adds more pain as this sacred symbol holds such a deep spiritual meaning to us all.”
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of the misuse of the logo. I thought to myself, “maybe if it wasn’t copywrited, or maybe he wasn’t aware it was their logo…” But then I realized, this is a multi-billion dollar company. How could they not know? A simple Google search or knowledgeable artist, religious expert or even logo maker would’ve known. If you’re going to launch a company, the first step is to make a logo. Who doesn’t spend the time to make sure the logo isn’t being used elsewhere?
I commend these students for their use in social media to express their concern and distaste for the use of their school’s sacred logo. Cavalli has a huge presence on social media, from Twitter to Instagram. The student’s have made it virtually impossible to look up the Cavalli name without coming across their hashtag or even words of concern.
Years ago, if this happened to students, they would not have had the option to do much other than send in letters of concern – that is, if they could locate Cavalli’s PR agency or any other place that could relay their message. These students took to social media, spoke out and are making themselves unignorable.
Unfortunately, I was only able to find one article on this topic and it didn’t go too far into detail. I’m waiting patiently for a well-recognized fashion publication to stop ignoring this hashtag and make a story themselves.
Until then, you can check the story out here: http://www.styleite.com/news/roberto-cavalli-offends-islamic-sufis-with-just-cavalli-logo/
* I would like to make note that I have learned the symbol represents Sufis around the world, and the students in Frisco, Tx, were the first to spearhead the campaign. I still have not seen the campaign recognized by corporate media. 7/20/14