Lisa Blue takes down denigrating swimwear and apologizes after prompt protests

Posted on May 8, 2011

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Hindu groups protest against the Australian designer Lisa Blue who designed swimwear featuring the image of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi Photo: REUTERS

7 May 2011, Australia:. Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA)’s seeker Atul Dighe from Brisbane received a forwarded email, appealing everyone to protest denigrating swimwear by Lisa Blue. The swimwear company carried an image of Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front, calling it ‘Hindu Swimwear’ and paraded the denigrating swimwear with images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva in Australian Fashion Week.

Atul immediately wrote to the swimwear company regarding the painting. Some correspondence followed. Within a few hours of his educative protest letter, the swimwear company took down the denigrating swimwear and apologized to the Hindu community. (See below.)

The correspondence between the seeker and the Lisa Blue company is given below.
From: info@lisablue.com.au
Sent: Saturday, 7 May 2011 8:10 PM
To: info@lisablue.com.au
Subject: Statement from swimwear label Lisa Blue

Statement from swimwear label Lisa Blue:

Lisa Blue has been born out of a love of conservation, spirituality and a respect for all people. At no time would we ever have intended that the brand would cause offence. The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking,  simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand.

We would like to offer an apology to anyone we may have offended and advise that the image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway from last week removed. This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world.

We apologise to the Hindu community and take this matter very seriously.

From: Atul
Sent: Saturday, 7 May 2011 7:47 PM
To: ‘info@lisablue.com.au’
Subject: Your swimwear with Hindu Gods pictures

Dear Designer of swimwear with Hindu Gods pictures

I am a volunteer of a non-profit organisation Forum for Hindu Awakening. I came across pictures of Hindu Gods on your swimwear; which I found very insulting to my religious feelings. Actually, it is a denigration of Hinduism and its followers. According to the Law of Karma, any such act of denigration accumulates as a sin, and one has to undergo its equivalent unhappiness.

I am sure you would not portray such pictures of any other religion like Islam, Christianity, etc. Hence, I urge you to kindly remove and withdraw all the swimwear with Hindu Gods printed on it immediately from the market.

We are organising an event on 21 May 2011 in Melbourne to educate the community about such denigrations. I hope by then you would take some action so that we can highlight it in our upcoming event as an example.

I look forward to your positive response.

Kind Regards

Atul Dighe
A volunteer for Forum for Hindu Awakening
http://www.forumforhinduawakening.org

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