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Last night at the preview of Takashi Murakami's new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, Louis Vuitton unveiled its new plan to combat counterfeiters. But instead of the usual speech-giving or handing out of leaflets, the French label has chosen an alternative approach to fighting the busy trade of copycat artists. It will set up its own street vendors outside the museum in New York, which will sell, not fake Vuitton bags, but the genuine article.

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The vendors will also begin selling Vuitton's latest 'Monogramouflage' print, developed by Murakami and Marc Jacobs. It's a mixture of Murakami's famous monogram print and camouflage, to be sold in special canvases during the course of the exhibition.

"We always thought that counterfeit requires zero tolerance for several reasons," Yves Carcelle, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, told WWD.

The fashion house now employs 40 staff, based in Paris, who work specifically on protecting its trademarks. It's a huge problem for the company who have conducted over 30,000 raids on counterfeiters in the last five years alone.

"The street vendors are not negative in themselves, they are part of the life of the city. When they sell counterfeit goods, however, it's detrimental to the city itself," added Carcelle.

The Murakami exhibition officially opens this Saturday. The Brooklyn Museum will house a special Vuitton boutique stocking LV multicoloured bags, other small leather goods and 300 of the Monogramouflage print canvases priced between US$6,000 and US$10,000.

  • The Monogramouflage collection, including luggage, handbags, costume jewellery and ready-to-wear, will launch worldwide in selected Vuitton stores from 15th June, 2008.

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[Source / Images: Getty]