Influential figures in the US fashion industry have called for a boycott of all hotels owned by the Dorchester Collection because the company is owned by the government of Brunei which recently changed its nation’s laws to allow the stoning to death of convicted homosexuals.
Fashion designers Peter Som and Brian Atwood, along with the co-owner of the Decades Boutique, Cameron Silver, have demanded that people stop attending designer dinners and charity fashion shows at such plush venues as the Beverley Hills Hotel.
Silver said on Tuesday, ‘The fashion industry and its supporters are unified in boycotting these properties.’ Asked about how the campaign got going, he replied, ‘Someone mentioned it to me while I was in New York on Sunday, I looked up an article [about the new law] and then posted something. [Valentino PR Director] Carlos Souza reposted it and then it was reposted by [Valentino’s longtime business partner] Giancarlo [Giammetti] and it just sort of grew from there.’
Shoe designer Atwood waded into the row with these comments on Instagram: ‘Don’t stay at the Principe di Savoia, Le Meurice, or the Dorchester during Milan, Paris or London fashion week’s [sic] this June to October. Send a clear signal to their owner, The Sultan of Brunei, that stoning people to death for being gay in Brunei is not acceptable. His new law comes into effect tomorrow April 22. Why not cancel your bookings tomorrow?’
In response, the PR manager for the Beverley Hills Hotel, Leslie Lefkowitz, issued the following statement: ‘We do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind. The laws that exist in other countries outside of where Dorchester Collection operates do not affect the policies that govern how we run our hotels. Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.’