Fashion brand Supreme has been thrust into media spotlight for featuring an image of iconic late Thai Buddhist monk, Luang Phor Koon, on one of its shirts in its 2021 Spring/Summer collection without permission. Dubbed the "Blessings Ripstop Shirts", the shirts sees an image of the monk in a squatting position smoking a cigar, surrounded by multiple religious symbols. Luang Phor Koon is said to be one of the most well-known monks in Thailand who had a big following. He died in May 2015 at the age of 92.
According to The Bangkok Post, The National Office of Buddhism in Thailand said Supreme has used the image without consulting the association. It added that it will be sending a letter to Supreme to "explain how it is inappropriate" for the brand to use the late monk's image on its clothes.
Meanwhile, The Bangkok Post also reported that an official from Wat Ban Rai- the temple which the late monk was based in- also said Supreme did not contact its committee, and should have asked for permission. It is added that the temple committee will contact Supreme to find out its purpose for using the monk's picture.
A quick check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE showed that Supreme has also featured other iconic figures in its 2021 Spring/Summer collection. This includes religious figure Saint Michael, boxer Muhammad Ali, guerrilla leader Che Guevara, and American musician Iggy Pop. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Supreme for a statement.
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