Fashionistas Shut Down Event Tied to Sultan of Brunei
By Michelle Garcia
The Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize has been awarded every year since 2010, but the competition will not take place this year, due to boycotts by fashion industry leaders over the antigay laws of Brunei, whose government owns the Dorchester Collection, a global hotel company.
The sultan of Brunei has instituted Sharia law in his country, which could potentially lead to people being stoned to death for being gay. Several celebrities -- including Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry, and Jay Leno -- have spoken out against the policy, and now, with fashion mavens such as Vogue editor Anna Wintour, François-Henri Pinault of Yves Saint Laurent, and shoe designer Brian Atwood boycotting the Dorchester Fashion Prize, this year's event has been canceled, reports the Human Rights Campaign.
Ty Cobb, the HRC's director of global engagement, applauded the designers and fashion industry bigwigs for their stand. “The fact is that the Dorchester Collection’s profits belong to a regime that could start stoning women and LGBT Bruneians as soon as next year," he said in a statement Wednesday, "and the cancellation of this prize is yet another sign that the Sultan’s company is feeling the impact of the worldwide movement to reject the Sultan’s horrific new laws.”
Dorchester Collection properties in the U.S. include the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in California.