Boy London fashion brand rejects concern over ‘Nazi’ logo

By Sandy Rashty, March 5, 2014
English model Cara Delevingne wearing the brand (Photo: Tumblr/ Boy London)

English model Cara Delevingne wearing the brand (Photo: Tumblr/ Boy London)

An international fashion label has dismissed concerns over the striking resemblance between its logo and the Nazi eagle symbol.

The UK-based Boy London brand — popularised by celebrities including Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Jessie J — refused to accept any comparison between its trademark logo, of a spread-winged eagle perched on a podium, and the fascist Third Reich’s Parteiadler symbol.

British Jewish shoppers said they were "shocked" and "offended" to find prominent stores retailing the brand.

But a representative for Boy London, which is sold across the UK, rejected concerns. He said: "The brand is in no way connected to Nazism or the idea of anyone being discriminated against for their creed, colour or religious beliefs."

He explained that the logo "was inspired by the eagle of the Roman Empire as a sign of decadence and strength. Its aim is to empower people rather than oppress."

In contrast, a premier department store removed the brand from its shop floor last Thursday, after the JC alerted it to shoppers’ protests.

Managers at Fenwick in Brent Cross Shopping Centre, north-west London, withdrew the brand from its position at the store entrance.

A Fenwick spokeswoman thanked the JC for bringing the issue to the company’s attention.

She said: "Our Boy London line is no longer on the shop floor as we investigate the matter directly with the brand."

Designer retailer Choice, which is owned by Jewish businessman Laurence Davis and has eight branches across the south of England, said it would remove the brand from the entrance of its Brent Cross store.

The Nazi Parteiadler eagle

The Nazi Parteiadler eagle

Commercial and finance director Paul Falador said: "We were surprised when we saw the comparison. We didn’t know about the connection. Now it’s been brought to our attention, and given the raised sensitivity of Brent Cross, we would reduce its prominence and sell it further back in the store."

Grandmother Sharon Lee, a regular shopper at Brent Cross, had complained the Fenwick about the Boy London display.

She said: "I’m the child of a Holocaust survivor and have seen my fathers papers stamped with the Nazi eagle - so I know what it is.

"I was so shocked when I saw it in Fenwick. It’s 100 per cent offensive."

Mark Gardner, communication director at the Community Security Trust, an antisemitism watchdog, welcomed Fenwick’s "responsible" decision.

He said: "At last, we have a brand that does not wish to be associated with Nazi insignia.

"The logo closely resembles the Nazi eagle – with its claws holding a circle containing a swastika, except now, the swastika is removed.

"It is easy to understand why people will be offended by such a logo, particularly when it is promoted for profit to youngsters who are probably ignorant of its resonance."

Meanwhile an international petition, signed by more than 250 people, has called on online distributor ASOS to stop selling Boy London merchandise.

A spokeswoman for ASOS confirmed it had received "a handful" of customer complaints. "If there was any significant indication that we were upsetting our customers, we would review our position robustly," she said.

The punk-inspired Boy London label was sold by Israel-based businessman John Krivine in the 1970s, at his Boy store on King’s Road, west London.

Mr Krivine, who sold the company in 1984, said: "I don’t know what kind of eagle it was - Roman Legion, American Indian, Continental Congress, Third Reich - it looked cool."

Last updated: 9:32pm, July 3 2014