Would You Wear a bin Laden Label?
The name may be more famous than Gucci, but would you care to be wearing it on the label of one of your everyday frocks? Swiss fashion designer Yeslam Binladin, the brother of the nefarious Osama bin Laden (who has 53 siblings), is planning to launch a "Binladin" clothing line, reports the Wall Street Journal, noting the marketing challenges the Geneva-based Binladin (who spells his name differently than his infamous sibling) may face. Though no rollout date has been announced, Binladin's moderately priced woolen goods are expected to hit stores in the Arab world, then in Europe, then, possibly, in America, with the designer hoping to compete with Benetton. Binladin, who was raised in Saudi Arabia before going to Switzerland 20 years ago (the Journal, noting that Binladin does not grant interviews about his company, does not provide much more of a biography than that), actually registered his label's name with Switzerland and the European Union several months prior to Sept. 11. "The name is one of the most famous names in the world," Binladin's Swiss lawyer, Juerg Brand, told the Journal. "We think that people are able to distinguish between Osama and the rest of the family." The lawyer went on to say that Yeslam barely knows Osama, who, it turns out, is his half-brother. They reportedly last saw one another in 1986. (Both, however, seem to share in the riches of the Saudi Binladin Group, founded in 1931 by their mutual father, Mohammed Binladin.) But Mario Boselli, head of Italy's fashion trade organization, told the Journal: "It's not that the sins of the fathers should fall on the shoulders of the children, or that one brother should be blamed for the actions of another . . . But I can't see how someone could ever try to exploit this type of notoriety."