Petition launched for maker of Vladimir Putin’s $13,000 jacket to denounce him

Russian president ‘lashed out at Western-oriented Russians only to appear two days later dressed in expensive Italian clothes’

Related video: Putin marks eighth anniversary of annexation of Crimea

A petition has been launched calling for the maker of the jacket worn by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a rally in Moscow to denounce him and his invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Putin took the stage at the Luzhniki World Cup stadium in Moscow on Friday 18 March in a $13,000 [£10,200] Loro Piana puffer jacket. The rally was in commemoration of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Echo of Moscow radio correspondent Karine Orlova launched a change.org petition, saying that “Loro Piana should publicly denounce Vladimir Putin”.

“Anyone who likes anything Western is a national traitor, declared Putin and two days later appeared dressed in a $10K Loro Piana coat at a rally in Moscow promoting war in Ukraine. Putin has long been a fan of the brand – time to end this. Please, sign,” she tweeted on 19 March.

“The luxurious brand, in the meantime, donated 5 million euros for aid to Ukraine,” she added on change.org.

“But what values does Loro Piana really share? Do they enjoy being represented by such an ambassador as Vladimir Putin? Is this how Loro Piana wants to be remembered in history?” she wrote.

“Vladimir Putin has been long known as a fan of Loro Piana fine cashmere. He couldn’t help himself even after having called ‘the traitors of the nation’ those Russians who live in the West and enjoy Western goods and values. He lashed out at the Western-oriented Russians – to only appear two days later dressed in the most expensive Italian clothes in the world. The Twitter and Italian media are already raging about Putin’s outfit,” she added.

Ms Orlova concluded by pleading “for Loro Piana to immediately publicly denounce Vladimir Putin and demand he stops wearing their clothes. Otherwise, the brand’s century-long history will be forever overshadowed by the blood of thousands of innocent victims of Putin’s criminal war”.

As of Monday morning, 778 people had signed the petition.

The founder of the fashion brand, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica, that Mr Putin wearing the jacket “creates some embarrassment from a human point of view”.

Reuters reported in 2013 that the French group LVMH bought 80 per cent of the Italian luxury cashmere clothing brand for $2.57bn.

“The group to which Loro Piana belongs has already taken all the steps to distance itself and to be in solidarity with the European positions regarding the human tragedy we are experiencing,” Mr Piana added.

“I think the jacket worn by Putin is a purchase that dates back a long time ago, but I also believe that these are minor issues compared to the tragedy of a war,” he said. “As a company, we are completely in solidarity with the positions of the LVMH group. It is clear which side we have chosen to be on. I do not feel guilty for that flaunted jacket worn on stage, but I believe that Putin should reflect on the massacre he is causing the Ukrainian people to live. “

“Support for the population, at the moment, is the most important thing,” he added. “The Ukrainians will have all our moral and practical support.”

Ukraine rejects Russia’s demand for Mariupol surrender

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here.  If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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