Dear Levi’s: Please Don’t Make Money off of Dead LGBTQIA Folks. Thanks. Love, The World.
— Levi’s® (@LEVIS) May 17, 2017
While it’s always suspect when a corporate fashion brand uses a social issue to sell stuff, sometimes it can genuinely be a nice acknowledgement of a cause, or a way for an organization or group to fundraise toward a worthwhile goal. Sometimes marketing and monetization can actually do and be good.
This isn’t one of those times.
As you can see above, Levi’s announced a new line of jeans yesterday that are apparently “inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt.” What they don’t seem to recognize is that each square of the AIDS Memorial Quilt represents an actual person who has died from AIDS.
The LGBTQIA community on Twitter is not having it. Here are some choice responses:
@LEVIS My dead community is not a fashion statement. Donating some proceeds won’t make it ok. Want to remember the Quilt? Sponsor upkeep & display.
— Racheline Maltese (@racheline_m) May 18, 2017
@LEVIS the quilt was not created so you could sell jeans.
— SHEPERSISTED (@eveisapisces) May 18, 2017
@LEVIS Please stop monetizing the suffering of the LGBT+ community.
— rancho enthusiast 🕷 (@BUTTZONE) May 18, 2017
Now, Levi’s has been sending several people who’ve tweeted at them the following response:
@brigidkeely LS&Co has been a longstanding supporter of LGBTQ equality. 100% of collection proceeds are donated to our 2017 LGBTQ partner organizations.
— Levi’s® (@LEVIS) May 18, 2017
OK, so apparently all the proceeds from the sale of these jeans are going to the Harvey Milk Foundation and other LGBTQIA partner organizations. That’s a little better. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that Levi’s seems to be a little out of touch with the community they’re trying to serve. For example, queer folks are needing to explain the “hanky code” to them:
— RussZam (@DumbFaggotry) May 18, 2017
And then there are those who kindly remind Levi’s of the Ghost of Tacky Corporate Social Justice Faux Pas Past:
@LEVIS Remember when Zara’s line looked like concentration camp uniforms and the shit storm that followed? Guess what’s headed your way?
— Nasty Bethesdaist (@Bethesdaist) May 18, 2017
@LEVIS Somewhere Pepsi and United Airlines sigh in relief.
— Elizabeth Morrow (@TheShinyLion) May 18, 2017
Perhaps this tweet sums it up the best:
— ⚛ Viva LA (@viva__lala) May 18, 2017
What do you think? Is the fact that Levi’s is apparently donating 100% of the proceeds to LGBTQIA organizations enough, or would you just as soon see them not do this at all. Also, really? Did no one think to have the hanky conversation with them? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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