Anna Wintour has joined the ever-widening boycott of the Sultan of Brunei’s high-end hotels and she’s brought all of Conde Nast, of which she’s artistic director, along with her. The publishing house has confirmed that all its titles will boycott the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection of ten luxury hotels, including Plaza Athénée, The Beverly Hills, and 45 Park Lane.
Specifically, Wintour will not be staying at Le Meurice in Paris, her prefered home away from home (where rooms start at roughly $1400 per night), until the Sultan reverses the anti-women, anti-gay Sharia laws he’s implementing in Brunei. As it stands, the dot of a country in a small corner of Borneo is the first East Asian nation to undergo such draconian restrictions that include stoning of gays, imprisonment of unwed women, and severing the limbs of thieves. In a statement, she said, “While I am sensitive to the potential impact that this issue may have on the wonderful staff at Le Meurice, I cannot in all good conscience stay there.”
This follows similar actions by François-Henri Pinault, the head of Kering, which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen, as well as Hedi Slimane, creative director of Saint Laurent. Richard Branson, too, tweeted that no employee of Virgin would stay at a Dorchester property “until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”
The latest move comes from the City of Beverly Hills, ground zero of the boycott, which voted to pressure the government of Brunei into selling the Beverly Hills Hotel. With a progressive new owner, just imagine how the Pink Palace, which recently celebrated its centenary, would be celebrated all over again.