Professor and Fashion Law Institute Director Susan Scafidi was quoted in a Business of Fashion article discussing several luxury brands’ decisions to restrict sales to Russian nationals in light of the invasion of Ukraine.
Chanel is among a group of luxury brands that are placing new restrictions on selling their products to Russian nationals abroad amid Western outrage over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as concerns about running afoul of sweeping economic sanctions against Russia mount.
But reports of leading brands like Chanel seeking to verify Russian clients’ residence outside the country shows companies “are clearly viewing the restriction on the exports of luxury goods to Russia very robustly,” said Adam Smith, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, formerly a senior sanctions official at the US Treasury.
Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, said luxury brands could be vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits if they do not approach how they screen shoppers neutrally.
“Chanel could argue that it’s caught between a rock and a hard place, but unless they are asking everyone, every single customer, whether they are from from down the block living in Paris, born and raised, or they are from Russia … then that’s potentially discriminatory,” she said.