Nude Breach

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Last week, LVMH won 80,000 euros in damages for the unauthorized close-up of Louis Vuitton fabric in a Britney Spears video. Now the luxury goods conglomerate is quietly apologizing for its own intellectual property violation, which stems from the use of a nude alphabet created for Vuitton by artist Vanessa Beecroft (she of the haunting high fashion tableaux vivants). Turns out Dutch graphic designer and artist Anthon Beeke thought of assembling naked women into letters about 40 years before Beecroft did. Quick girls, spell out SORRY!

In a recently issued statement, LVMH said that it “deeply regrets any damage that has been caused to Anthon Beeke” and that in order to recognize Beeke’s copyrights, Beecroft will cease all further use of the nude alphabet. The company paid no damages to Beeke. Additionally, Beecroft’s VBLV book, published by Edizioni Charta in September, is being pulled from stores worldwide.

According to Beeke’s website, he has received many requests over the years from those wanting to use his nude alphabet, and has occasionally consented, usually “when the use was of a non-commercial nature.” He also notes that the LV copying was no accident, showing examples of Beecroft’s letters and noting “the exact same number and positioning of models” as his. Sometimes the naked truth hurts.