Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue and one of the world’s most influential figures in fashion, has announced that she is boycotting the Le Meurice Hotel in Paris, owned by The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanai Bolkiah.
Le Meurice is part of the Dorchester Collection of elite hotels owned by Bolkiah, who in April enacted Sharia law, which calls for anal sex to be punishable with death by stoning, in a category that also includes rape, adultery, and extramarital sexual relations for Muslims.
Wintour told The New York Times, “While I am sensitive to the potential impact that this issue may have on the wonderful staff at Le Meurice, I cannot in good conscience stay there, nor can Vogue’s editors”.
Conde Naste, which publishes Vogue and also owns prolific publications such as GQ, Vanity Fair and Glamour, will boycott the Sultan of Brunei’s chain of hotels. Cini Leive, editor of Glamour magazine also spoke to The New York Times about the issue, saying, “I don’t think this is a political issue. This is about basic human rights. No hotel is nice enough for that”.
Wintour is the latest in a long line of high profile celebrities to boycott the exclusive Dorchester Collection in protest, with Jay Leno, Lisa Vanderpump, Ellen DeGeneres and Richard Branson already vetoing the group.
The fashion community has also taken a stand, with shoe designers Brian Atwood and Peter Som calling for action, along with Francois-Henri Pinault, designer, the head of Kering, the company that owns fashion houses Gucci, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.
Gay rights charity Stonewall recently criticised the celebrity boycott of Bolkiah’s hotels saying that it is unlikely to bring change and risks doing “very real harm” to LGBT people in Brunei.
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