Fashion Industry Boycotts Hotels Owned by Sultan of Brunei
Brian Atwood and Peter Som have used Instagram to tell the style community to take a stand against the leader of Brunei, who owns the Beverly Hills Hotel and has implemented a jarring penal code against "sexual crimes" in his country.
Following the news that the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei will implement a revised law Apr. 22 that includes "stoning to death as the specific method of execution for crimes of a sexual nature," the controversial penal code has sparked backlash from LGBT groups as well as the fashion community.
On Tuesday, shoe designer Brian Atwood posted a message on his Instagram account, asking fashion week attendees not to stay at the Principe di Savoia in Milan, Le Meurice in Paris or the Dorchester in London -- luxury hotels all owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The sultan controls Brunei Investment Agency, which counts the Dorchester Group as a subsidiary. The Dorchester Group owns The Dorchester Collection, which owns the aforementioned hotels along with the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in L.A. -- two favorites for fashion events and press previews.
"Send a clear signal to their owner, the Sultan of Brunei, that stoning people to death for being gay in Brunei is not acceptable," wrote Atwood. Since the law comes into effect Tuesday, he added: "Why not cancel your bookings tomorrow?"
Fashion designer Peter Som also regrammed Atwood's message on his Instagram, with the caption, #boycott and #takeastand.
The Gill Action Fund, a LGBT advocacy group, was scheduled to hold a conference for political donors at the Beverly Hills Hotel from May 1 to 4, reported the Washington Blade. In light of the Brunei government's new penal code, The Gill Action Fund executive director Kirk Fordham told the paper Thursday that "Gill Action made the decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel to another property." (A spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Hotel declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter on details of the conference.)