A top Russian influencer has been mocked for getting a new Chanel bag after taking part in a high-profile socialite stunt to scissor her last one in protest at Western sanctions over Vladimir Putin‘s war.
In April, Monaco-based model Victoria Bonya, 42, with 9 million followers, led the anti-Chanel campaign by wealthy female Kremlin backers.
At the time she said in English: ‘I have to say if Chanel House does not respect its clients, [why] do we have to respect Chanel? Bye bye.’
She was seen throwing the bag away at her plush home.
The Putin-loving businesswoman who chooses to live in the West had ‘never seen any brand acting so disrespectful towards their clients.’
But now she has been accused of ‘hypocrisy’ after posting pictures showing her with a Chanel bag in a car on a sojourn in Dubai.
Monaco-based model Victoria Bonya, 42, with 9 million followers, led the anti-Chanel campaign by wealthy women Kremlin backers by cutting up her bag in April
But she was recently pictured on a trip to Dubai wearing a bag which appeared to be identical to the one she destroyed in her stunt
Ms Bonya is a model and influencer on social media – but her followers have been left unhappy after photos of her with a new Chanel bag emerged
Ms Bonya is a vocal advocate of Vladimir Putin, and shares photos of herself wearing clothing and swimsuits emblazoned with pictures of the Russian leader
The new bag appears to be identical to the one she destroyed – leaving her followers branding her a ‘hypocrite’
Russian social media is awash with critical comments with one saying of her destroyed bag: ‘It was resurrected.’
Another said: ‘So pathetic. Disgusting.’
One more comment read: ‘She must have instantly bought a new bag.’
Most Russians cannot buy Chanel now because the brand has closed in Moscow and other cities, and even on foreign trips they are not supposed to be sold to Putin’s citizens.
‘Bonya, where are you buying Chanel bags?’ She was asked.
Another said: ‘Is Chanel back?’
She was accused of ‘double standards’ and ‘hypocrisy’.
A report in Antiglyanets asked: ‘Did she glue it together?’
Former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak – Russia’s leading female opposition politician – joked: ‘How to DIY a Chanel bag’.
In April, Bonya was one of a number of wealthy Russian women who went ballistic over being barred from new purchases by their favourite brand.
They voice no concern for the thousands of dead and wounded Ukrainians – or Russian troops – in the war which led to the sanctions, only for their own fashion traumas triggered by Putin’s invasion.
The French luxury seller not only pulled out of Russia, but also banned sales to Vladimir Putin’s wealthy compatriots when they fly on shopping trips around the world.
They claimed the move smacked of ‘Russophobia’ in banning them from buying Chanel.
Marina Ermoshkina, 28, joined Ms Bonya’s stunt in April, saying: ‘Not a single item or brand is worth my love for my motherland’
DJ Katya Guseva, 39 also cut up her Chanel bag, saying: ‘Bye-bye, Chanel’
Yana Rudkovskaya, 47, is based in Moscow as a music show producer – and has spent more than £1 million at the brand
TV presenter, PR agent and actress Marina Ermoshkina, 28, expressed outrage to her 299,999 followers that in foreign Chanel stores Russian women are asked to sign a pledge they will not wear or display the brand in Russia.
‘Not a single item or brand is worth my love for my motherland and my self-respect,’ she said, cutting her accessory bag with industrial scissors.
DJ Katya Guseva, 39, with 587,000 followers, said: ‘I am saying ‘No’ to Chanel.
‘I am against Russophobia and against segregation by nationality.
‘To show you I am serious, I will simply cut up this bag.
‘I don’t need it any more. Bye-bye, Chanel .’
Influencer Yana Rudkovskaya, 47, a Moscow-based music show producer, wife of Olympic figure skating champion Alexander Plyushenko, was horrified – but did not blame Putin for being deprived of her favourite brand.
She had spent more than one million euro at Chanel over the years so found the ban ‘somewhat humiliating’.
Moscow foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Chanel of joining ‘the Russophobic campaign to ‘cancel Russia’.’
She stressed that ‘during the Second World War, Coco Chanel herself was a collaborator and agent of the Third Reich’.
Russia was in a campaign against fascism in Ukraine, she claimed.
At the time Chanel’s French HQ said it was forced to take action because of EU and Swiss sanctions on luxury items.
‘The latest sanctions restrictions of the European Union and Switzerland prohibit ‘the sale, directly or indirectly, of luxury items to any natural, legal person or entity in the Russian Federation or for use in the Russian Federation’, said a statement.
So customers were asked ‘to confirm that the products they purchase will not be used in Russia’.
The company said: ‘We understand that these measures, aimed at complying with the requirements of the law, may create certain inconveniences for some customers.
‘We are currently working to improve the procedure and apologise for any related misunderstandings and inconveniences.’