2018 has been an amazing year for the anti-fur movement so far. Luxury fashion houses, including ones that for decades have been synonymous with the fur trade, have pledged to distance themselves from the industry, mostly on grounds of sustainability and animal welfare. And with good reason: an environmental hazard of a fabric, fur claims over 50 million lives each year. But there is hope, as more and more brands – and not just any brands, but the big luxury fashion houses – are turning their backs on it.
Gucci: “It’s not modern”
In a true sign of the times, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri said: “Do you think using furs today is modern? I don’t think it’s still modern. It’s a bit outdated. Creativity can jump in many different directions instead of using furs.”
This is Gucci – the fashion house responsible for those furry loafers that adorned the feet of fashion bloggers all over the planet until very, very recently. And their incredible change of heart inspired a domino effect in which many other brands followed suit, namely…
Michael Kors: “We now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur”
Another previous lover of real fur, Michael Kors has been responsible for many fur-clad models stomping down catwalks over several New York Fashion Weeks through the years. But the American brand has shifted to a more sustainable POV, with the designer himself saying: “Due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur.” Just how Michael Kors will use innovative new fashion technologies still remains to be seen – but here at Vilda, we can’t wait to find out.
Jimmy Choo: “This decision marks a new chapter”
As a shoe brand, Jimmy Choo might not be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to fur clothing. But fur pom-poms and fur trim on shoes are details that the brand has made ample use of in the past – and we really can’t underestimate the cruelty behind fur trim. Even if it’s not a full-length coat, animals are still factory-farmed by the millions, or trapped in the wild, for their fur. This is why it’s welcome news that Jimmy Choo, which falls under the same parent company as Michael Kors, will no longer be profiting from the cruelty.
CEO John Idol, who is also CEO of Michael Kors, has said: “This decision marks a new chapter as our company continues to evolve its use of innovative materials.”
Versace: “I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right.”
On many levels, Donatella Versace is the ultimate #girlboss: she single-handedly runs one of fashion’s most influential and legendary brands. Luxury is pretty much Versace’s second name, which, until recently, included fur. But most recently, Donatella spoke out against fur in a pretty decisive manner: “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right.”
Where Donatella leads, other fashion brands will follow – and her decision, along with Gucci, is proof that Italy, and its influential fashion industry, is distancing itself further and further from fur. According to recent research, a whopping 90% of Italians is against its use.
John Galliano / Maison Martin Margiela: “You can be outrageous without fur”
Possibly the biggest fan of debauchery and decadence that fashion has ever seen, John Galliano recently announced that he was going fur-free for Maison Martin Margiela, where he is now head designer. After conversations with unlikely new BFF Dan Mathews, VP of Campaigns for PETA, John Galliano turned his brand fur-free and went vegetarian. “You can be outrageous without fur”, he says. “Come and party with us, you’ll see!”.
We will take you up on that, John.
Bonus: InStyle Magazine, Laura Brown: “How thrilling that the fashion industry is beginning to embrace fur-free alternatives”
Not a fashion brand – but very much a fashion tastemaker. InStyle Editor in Chief Laura Brown recently announced on social media and in her May Editor’s Letter, that InStyle’s unofficial no-fur policy is becoming an official stance. And unlike many other magazines who are fur-free in their editorial but have little control over advertising, InStyle is completely fur-free across the board. “I want to be clear that InStyle does not photograph fur – nor do we accept advertising from fur brands. How thrilling that the fashion industry is beginning to embrace fur-free alternatives. Here’s to this dear chinchilla living a long and lovely life”, wrote Laura in her Instagram post, with a cute photo of a chinchilla – and since 130k chinchillas are killed for their fur each year in the UK alone, we are thankful to Laura and InStyle for that decision.
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Header photo by David Camilli for Unreal Fur