Wealthy Russian socialites are outraged that Chanel has banned them from purchasing their luxury products across the world.
The couture fashion house pulled business out of Russia in protest of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, along with many other brands, but the Russian fashionistas did not expect to be barred from shopping in other countries.
Russian interior designer and influencer Liza Litvin whined about her experience being refused a Chanel bag in a top Dubai mall, East2West reported.
“I went to a Chanel boutique in the Mall of the Emirates,” she posted in fury. “They didn’t sell me the bag because (attention!) I am from Russia!!!”
She shared that Chanel “has a new order that they only sell after I sign a piece of paper saying that I won’t wear this bag in Russia.”
Litvin explained, “They asked for my ID details and I gave my Russian phone number.
“Next, the manager said that starting from today they were selling to Russians only if they sign an agreement not to wear their items in Russia.”
The Russian influencer isn’t the only one who has been barred from shopping for her favorite luxury accessories. Chanel’s French corporate offices confirmed the new policy which they claimed was forced upon them because of European Union and Swiss sanctions on luxury items.
“The latest sanctions restrictions of the European Union and Switzerland prohibit ‘the sale, directly or indirectly, of luxury items to any natural, legal person or entity in the Russian Federation or for use in the Russian Federation,’ ” the company said in a statement.
Customers are now being asked “to confirm that the products they purchase will not be used in Russia.”
“We understand that these measures, aimed at complying with the requirements of the law, may create certain inconveniences for some customers. We are currently working to improve the procedure and apologize for any related misunderstandings and inconveniences,” Chanel said.
Other rich Russians have also shared their experiences of being turned away at the store.
Singer and TV fashion show presenter Anna Kalashnikova, 37, blasted the brand after she was barred from buying Chanel earrings and a bag in Dubai.
She explained how a manager at the store told her: “We know you are a Russian celebrity. We know you’ll be taking purchases to Russia, so we can’t sell our brand’s items.”
“ ‘Oops’, I thought. Next I remembered Coco Chanel was not only mistress of a Nazi officer, but an agent of German intelligence,” she said.
“So this action of her brand really makes me remember her biography. It’s so low to support fascism and Russophobia.”
Kalashnikova announced that she will now be boycotting Chanel.
Influencer Yana Rudkovskaya, 47, a Moscow-based music show producer and wife of Olympic figure skating champion Alexander Plushenko was also stunned after being blocked by the luxury brand.
“This is a shock for a woman who’s been buying Chanel and Chanel Haute Couture for more than 20 years, and who sat at its shows in the front row,” she said.
She had spent more than 1 million euros at Chanel over the years and found the ban “somewhat humiliating.”
Snezhanna Georgieva, 46, wife of billionaire Crimea winery owner, Artem Zuev, insinuated that despite the ban, some shoppers have been able to pull some strings.
“I will love it when these brands are back,” she said. “But we know some boutiques that are still open when a regular customer calls them.”
Moscow foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Chanel of joining “the Russophobic campaign to ‘cancel Russia’ ” and also noted that “during the Second World War, Coco Chanel herself was a collaborator and agent of the Third Reich.”
Russia was in a campaign against fascism in Ukraine, she claimed.
“The Chanel house can return to normal and, as its creator, support Nazism. But now everyone will know about it.”