May 4, 2007
In Taiwan, even the religious establishment counterfeits Louis Vuitton:
Since 2004, the Taiwan Bible Society has launched several versions of the Bible using trendy covers - jeans, army fatigues and leather - to appeal to young people and women. The Bibles sold out fast, prompting the society to design more trendy versions of the Word of God.
Lai Chun-ming, general secretary of the Taiwan Bible Society and inventor of the trendy Bibles, said he came upon the idea by chance. “In 2004, when I was visiting South Korea, I saw jeans-covered notebooks in the Seoul University bookstore.
“They were popular with students. So I asked the South Korean Bible Society if we could make jeans-
covered Bible. ‘That is blasphemy!’ one of them shouted,” Reverend Lai said in his office in Taipei. “But I didn’t care. When I came home, I made some jeans-covered Bibles and sent them to bookstores to test their reaction. They said we could try. So we delivered 3,000 Jeans Bibles and they were sold out within one month,” he said.
Since then, Lai has launched three colours of the Jeans Bible, as well as the Army Fatigue Bible and the Louis Vuitton (LV) Bible. “I saw many people wearing army-fatigue clothes, so I designed the Army Fatigue Bible. Girls can buy this Bible and give it to their boyfriends who are serving in the army,” he said.
The front of the fatigue cover bears the world Bible with a cross below it and the phrase “Army of God” below the cross.
“A perfect match,” Lai said with a gentle smile.
… Since its foundation 50 years ago, the Taiwan Bible Society has supplied most of the Bibles sold in Taiwan. […] But sales have been slow because Christians account for only 4.5 percent of the 23 million Taiwanese, and usually only newly converted Christians buy Bibles and then use the same one for years.
So Lai racked his brains to promote Bible sales. After inventing the Jeans and Army Fatigue Bibles, he launched several versions of the LV Bible, meeting the craze among women for LV bags.
The leather covers of LV Bible also come in different colours and shades. “This year’s trendy LV colours are gold and silver,” Lai said.
Despite the similarity to an LV handbag, there does not seem to be a counter-
feiting problem because the letters on the LV Bible are GV instead of LV.
LV might disagree.
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