Roberto Cavalli is currently offending half a million people.
I received an interesting tweet last week from a man named Jamak Golshani. He asked if I would help raise awareness for a #TakeOfJustLogo campaign regarding the logo for Just Cavalli, an extension brand of the Italian designer Roberto Cavalli. Our several twitter interactions have been re-tweeted over 150 times and still counting, which made me take notice.
Jamak Golshani and everyone else involved in the #TakeOfJustLogo campaign are followers of the Islamic Sufism faith. They are accusing Roberto Cavalli of creating a replica of the sacred Sufi emblem and using it to sell products such as clothing, a perfume, accessories and jewelry under the Just Cavalli brand.
The MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism, which owns the rights to the symbol Roberto Cavalli is accused of copying “is an international non-profit organization with centers spanning five continents, including more than 500,000 students worldwide” according to their site, and dates back 1400 years. They’ve had a federally registered trademark of the emblem since 1987 in classes that extend to jewelry, religious publications, tablecloths, and other goods.
The #TakeOfJustLogo campaign started about three weeks ago in the UK, after members of the Sufi faith noticed their symbol on the Just Cavalli perfume in department stores, airports and television advertisements. Getting no response from Cavalli they began a twitter campaign. “More than anything we want Roberto Cavalli to withdraw the Just Cavalli line or to change the logo” says Mr. Golshani. The campaign is not carried out by MTO Shahmaghsoudi school itself, but by it’s followers who are outraged at seeing their sacred symbol misrepresented.
So far the only response they have been getting from the Roberto Cavalli PR team is that the logo is not similar. However Mr. Golshani says “There has been no sincere response other than a copy and paste of incorrect responses with wrong names from the PR team. This is of course even more insincere as his PR team is not taking the time to address the issue which they have received hundreds of complaints about.”
“It is extremely upsetting to have the logo used on such products” says Mr. Golshani. Friends and co-workers who are familiar with his religion have noticed the logo as well. “More than anything having to hear people ask about when we started collaborating with Cavalli or launching a perfume line is very demoralizing. Having to see the perfume ad with the use of the sacred symbol as a tattoo is extremely upsetting, to see it used in such a cheap and provocative way is even more hurtful as it is something that has a deep, spiritual meaning for us” explains Mr. Golshami.
And that anger, hurt and outrage is loud and clear on Twitter.
Followers of the faith are tweeting to the official Roberto Cavalli handle, things like “Coincidence? NOT…will not stop till you respect our faith and our sacred emblem!” and “Have you noticed we’ve gotten louder we won’t stop until you #TakeOfJustLogo and apologize.” They are reaching out to celebrities like Katie Perry and designers like Alexander Wang, they’ve created memes like this and this, and they’re reaching out to stores to stop carrying merchandise with the logo.
I’ve reached out to members of the Roberto Cavalli team, but have gotten no response. They’ll have to respond or take action soon, because the Sufi followers’ campaign is getting stronger and louder.
Stay tuned, there’s more to come of this situation.