Chanel apologises to Muslims for 'Satanic Breasts' dress
Monday 24 January 1994
When Claude Eliette, the chief executive of Chanel, went on Saturday to see Dalil Boubakeur, the mosque's rector, it was to apologise for putting a verse of the Koran across the chest of Claudia Schiffer when she modelled a new evening dress in Paris on 15 January. The affair was irreverently dubbed 'the Satanic Breasts' by the weekly Journal du Dimanche yesterday.
Karl Lagerfeld, the designer responsible for the dress, confessed to being shocked. He said that he understood the text was that of a love poem from the Indian subcontinent inspired by the Taj Mahal. Two other of Lagerfeld's recent designs are also embroidered with Muslim holy texts. The text on Claudia Schiffer's dress read: 'He whom God guides is well-guided, and he who is abandoned by God will find no one to put him on the right road.'
The affair threatened Chanel's exports to the Muslim world after Hasan Basri, the head of Indonesia's ulema, described the use of the words as 'an insult to our religion'.
Mr Eliette promised Mr Boubakeur that the three offending dresses would be burned. The fashion house, he said, had never intended 'to commit a sacrilege or to offend the Muslim community. In consequence, I ask the rector and the theological commission of the mosque to present my deep apologies to all the Muslim community and I promise to remove from our models the calligraphies involved. The three dresses and the texts will be destroyed by incineration'.
Mr Eliette said later the economic consequences of the affair were 'secondary' and that the mistake was the result of 'creative enthusiasm'.
The rector said he was happy with Chanel's apology. 'We are convinced of the good faith of the house of Chanel. They took a courageous and economically difficult decision. I promise to convey to the Muslim community the apologies and regrets of the fashion house.'
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
‘Ryan Gosling got someone pregnant and it's not me. Brazil you think you’re devastated…’
Israel-Palestine crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Palestine crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...