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Russian influencers are cutting up their Chanel bags in protest after the luxury house banned them

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Victoria Bonya (left) and Marina Ermoshkina filmed themselves cutting up their Chanel handbags in protest.
  • Russian influencers are cutting up their Chanel bags to protest being barred from buying goods abroad.
  • "If Chanel House does not respect its clients, why do we have to respect Chanel House?" a model said.
  • Several Russian influencers and socialites have accused the French brand of "Russophobia in action".
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

"If Chanel House does not respect its clients, why do we have to respect Chanel House?"

That's what Russian model Victoria Bonya said in an Instagram video on Wednesday before taking a pair of industrial scissors and snipping a black quilted Chanel handbag in half. 

"Bye-bye," she said to her 9.3 million followers on the platform as she chucked the bag aside.

 

Bonya is just one of several Russian influencers who have filmed themselves cutting up their Chanel handbags — all done in protest at being barred from buying goods from the French luxury brand.

After shutting its stores in Russia, Chanel stopped selling its products to people who intend to take them to the country, a move that some Russian customers have complained of being anti-Russian. Several Russian influencers and socialites have accused the brand of "Russophobia in action."

TV presenter and actress Marina Ermoshkina, who has 299,000 followers on Instagram, used garden shears to cut up a dark gray handbag on the platform on Wednesday.

"Not a single bag, not a single thing is worth my love for my Motherland. It's not worth my respect for myself. I am against Russophobia, I am against a brand that supports Russophobia," she wrote in her caption.

"Chanel is just an accessory. An accessory that at some point decided to humiliate people, my compatriots, decided to discriminate against people on the basis of nationality, which I will not tolerate. After all, the main thing is principles, and not what is in your hands, but what is inside you," she added. 

DJ Katya Guseva, who has 587,000 Instagram followers, said she was following Ermoshkina's lead when she also cut up her black Chanel handbag with scissors.

"I always dreamed that a Chanel handbag would appear in my wardrobe, and it happened last year," she wrote in her caption. "But after I learned about the brand's policy towards Russians, I decided to remove these bags from my daily life until the situation changes."

"I am against Russophobia, I am against the brand , which supports Russophobia and discrimination against women based on nationality. We Russian girls are beautiful whether we have a Chanel bag or not," she continued.

The influencers received support from their fans but also angry comments from people who accused them of making a big deal out of a fashion accessory amid the Ukraine conflict. 

In a statement sent to Insider on Tuesday, a representative for Chanel said that the brand complies with "all laws" that are applicable to its operations and employees, including trade sanctions.

"This is why we have rolled out a process to ask clients for whom we do not know the main residency to confirm that the items they are purchasing will not be used in Russia," the representative said.

"We recognize that this process of walking through the law has caused disappointment to some of our clients. We are currently working on improving this approach and we apologize for any misunderstanding this may have caused, as welcoming all our clients, regardless of where they come from, is a priority for Chanel," they added. 

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