When it comes to fashion mega-giant Louis Vuitton, they’re usually the ones doing the accusing. The tables have turned, however. Clint Arthur, one of the buyers who bought limited-edition prints by artist Takashi Murakami two years ago at the special Louis Vuitton boutique inside his exhibition at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, is suing because he feels that Louis Vuitton fraudulently sold him nothing more than two mounted bags without snaps and straps. He claims that the mounted pieces were intentionally disguised as collectible art prints priced at $6,000 and $10,000.
The reason he is calling this fraud is that he is claiming that Louis Vuitton purposefully hid the fact that the prints were made from the same fabric sheets as the Murakami-designed bags and accessories selling for six to ten times less. The Los Angeles Times reports: “Louis Vuitton . . . knew that neither [Arthur] nor anyone else would pay $6,000 if it was clear they were getting factory leftovers from handbag production.”
Arthur’s attorneys filed last week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, countering Louis Vuitton’s attempt to have Judge A. Howard Matz dismiss the case as groundless. The Los Angeles Times further notes that Louis Vuitton’s attorneys argue in legal papers that Arthur has no case because, as an experienced collector of fine art prints, he should have known from the context that he might be getting something that would blur the lines between art and manufacture.
Nevertheless, Arthur was offered a refund of $12,000 for the two prints he purchased plus interest. He did not accept.