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Who said designers were afraid of politics? Hedi Slimane has announced that Saint Laurent will join a boycott of Dorchester Collection, the luxury hotel group which owns the Dorchester in London and the Beverly Hills Hotel. The group's owner, the Sultan of Brunei, has recently introduced repressive anti-gay laws in his country.
On Thursday night, YSL published this statement on its Facebook page:
"The House of Yves Saint Laurent, jointly with its Creative Director Hedi Slimane, cannot tolerate such repressive and anti-egalitarian laws, affecting basic human rights, as the Sharia Law just implemented by the Sultan of Brunei. For this reason, no employees of the House will stay in any Dorchester Collection properties until the Sultan of Brunei repels such laws and positions, that have no place in a civilized society."
Sounds a bit much? It isn't. The new legislation increases the punishment for homosexuality (which is already illegal) from a 10-year prison sentence to death by stoning. Amnesty International have said that the laws will take the country back to the dark ages when it comes to human rights.
Other designers who have called for a boycott include Peter Som and shoe designer Brian Atwood, who also told their social media followers to cancel their bookings with any Dorchester Collection hotels. Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leto and Stephen Fry are among the celebrities who have said they will avoid any Dorchester properties until Brunei improves its stance on LGBT rights.
Follow Zing Tsjeng on Twitter here @misszing