Last week protests broke out on the streets of the American city of Minneapolis, after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a police officer, who was eventually charged with murder in the Midwestern city. The unrest quickly spread to cities including Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago and New York, and turned violent, with rioters in cities such as Los Angeles and Portland targeting luxury stores by defacing their facades and, in some cases, looting them. In Los Angeles, the stores of luxury brands including Hermès, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Tiffany on Rodeo Drive, the city’s shopping mecca, were sprayed with messages including “Living in Hell” and “Eat the Rich”. By Saturday, most stores on the luxury avenue had been boarded up to prevent protesters looting and vandalising them. View this post on Instagram Minutes ago on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photos: @jennihoffner • #blm #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #justiceforgeorgefloyd #graffiti #protest #rodeodrive #beverlyhills #california #gucci #laperla #mcm #alexandermcqueen #hermes #chanel #fendi #luxury A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on May 30, 2020 at 4:45pm PDT On nearby Melrose Avenue, protesters broke windows and ransacked stores including an Adidas outlet, and set fire to many buildings on the street. The Louis Vuitton store in Portland, Oregon, was broken into and rioters reportedly stole luxury products worth US$85,000. US designers took to social media to weigh in on the matter and two very prominent ones showed differing views. New York-based designer Marc Jacobs, who confirmed on Twitter that one of his stores was “destroyed”, praised the acts of the protesters, saying, in a long post, “Never let them convince you that broken glass or property is violence [...] Property can be replaced, human lives cannot.” Meanwhile, Off-White label founder and Louis Vuitton men’s designer Virgil Abloh, who is African-American, condemned the looting in a comment on Twitter that partly read, “This disgusts me. To the kids that ransacked his store and RSVP DTLA, and all our stores in our scene just now, that product staring at you in your home/apartment is tainted and a reminder of a person I hope you aren’t.” marc jacobs vs virgil abloh.... cringe. pic.twitter.com/wESurGHSbU — ®️ (@RIFAYAYO) June 1, 2020 The looting has not just impacted fashion boutiques. As first reported by The Art Newspaper , A Kaws sculpture and other works of art were looted from 5Art Gallery in Los Angeles on Saturday. In a post on the gallery’s Instagram account, footage depicts a masked black protester grabbing the Kaws, running out of the gallery, and leaving behind graffiti outside on the gallery wall, which read "f*** white art”. View this post on Instagram What a sad day! We are so much against what happened to George Floyd. But this affected our employes and the artists that had nothing to do with this. Thanks to everyone who helped us today Please send over every footage you have. A post shared by 5ART GALLERY (@5art_gallery) on May 30, 2020 at 9:42pm PDT Protesters targeting stores during times of turmoil is nothing new, but this blow to the closely guarded image of fashion brands couldn’t have come at a worse time for the fashion industry, which has been severely impacted by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent report by consultancy Bain & Company, the luxury industry will experience a drop in sales of up to 35 per cent this year. It is anyone’s guess whether the spreading anti-wealth sentiment in the US will impact luxury sales in the long term, but it could make people of means more conservative in their spending habits for fear of repercussions. View this post on Instagram Opening... soon? Demonstrators sit in front of a shuttered gate to a shopping mall in the Causeway Bay area in Hong Kong. One of the world's most expensive shopping districts, Causeway Bay has hit hard by weekend protests, as Hong Kong remains mired in political crisis stretching more than three months long. One in every 10 shops in the area is now empty as protests deter visitors and shoppers. More than 600 shops may empty out by next year, putting hundreds of staff out of work. : Bloomberg Go to link in bio @scmpnews to read more #hongkongprotests #hongkong #hkig #852 #hkprotests #hkprotest #extraditionlaw #extraditionbill #antiextraditionbill #demonstration #democracy #scmpnews #scmp A post shared by South China Morning Post (@scmpnews) on Sep 17, 2019 at 9:00pm PDT In Asia, Hong Kong, a very important market for luxury brands , has also been mired in anti-government protests for the past 12 months, and the stores of brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel have provided a backdrop to the unrest. While protesters in Hong Kong have not looted or vandalised luxury stores, the impact of the protests on their brand image has been significant, quite apart from the plunge in sales that has affected much of the city’s retail sector and the harm to Hong Kong’s reputation as a global luxury hub.