The global backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has has far-reaching consequences. Not only are many countries fighting with tough sanctions against Russia and some of its most powerful individuals, including President Vladimir Putin, but the corporate response to the invasion has been swift and noticeable.
Many consumer brands are exiting the Russian market – some because they want to avoid sanctions and Russia’s economic downturn, and others because they’re taking a moral stance against the invasion.
The diversity of brands has been noteworthy: car brands like Volkswagen, tech brands like Apple, even fast food outlets like McDonald’s… Now designer fashion and luxury brands are abandoning Russia too.
Footage captured at Russian department stores and shared by Rich Kids Of Instagram – an Instagram account that chronicles the disgustingly privileged life of the world’s 1%, many of which are the children of cashed-up Russian oligarchs – shows how top labels like Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada have quickly packed up shop, leaving behind eerily empty stores.
It’s a bit dystopian, seeing these normally sumptuous stores reduced to bare shelves. It’s not clear how or if many of these brands got product out of Russia – normally, luxury brands are notoriously protective of their goods and go to great lengths not to heavily discount or give away stock. There’s a non-zero chance that they just destroyed their stock instead of shipping it back to the West, for example.
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It might look a bit grim but netizens don’t have a lot of sympathy for Russians being denied access to luxury shopping.
“Awwww, poor little rich kids won’t get their Louis Vuitton. So sad. Meanwhile, most people have actual real problems to deal with,” one commenter shared. We’d tend to agree…