Anders Behring Brievik insists on wearing a red Lacoste sweater on trips outside of prison, and the French label isn’t happy.
Norwegian daily Dagbladet reports that executives at Lacoste have written to authorities in Oslo demanding that the 32-year old leave his alligator logos in his cell block. A spokesman with the Norwegian police told the paper: “The company feels that such a man sporting their clothes could do considerable harm to their reputation.”
Breivik, who killed 77 people during twin attacks in Norway on July 22, identifies strongly with the French luxury brand. He referenced Lacoste in his infamous 1,500-page manifesto, saying it “makes it possible to act as an educated European of the conservative character.” The manifesto also contained an image of Breivik wearing a black Lacoste sweater. He wore a red Lacoste sweater to his first court appearance on July 25, and the alligator logo is clearly visible in the photos that show Breivik in the back of a police vehicle. French newspaper Liberation views the association with a mass murder as a serious problem. “This situation is clearly a nightmare for one of France’s most distinguished clothing companies,” it says.
Complaining about brand dilution seems pretty petty in the aftermath of a massacre. As such, Lacoste waited until recently to broach the issue with Norwegian police. The day after Breivik’s July 25 court appearance, Swedish newspaper Resume sought comment from Arnaud Leblin, Lacoste’s communications director, on Breivik’s fondness for Lacoste. He declined to comment and said that his thoughts were “with the families of the victims.”
As word spreads that Lacoste has sought action—making even more people become aware of the association—officials may be wishing they’d simply stuck with that line.