Fashion giant Armani announces he’s going fur free this year

Head of Italian empire says there’s no excuse to indulge in cruel practices

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2016, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2016, 12:01pm

Italian fashion king Giorgio Armani will no longer use any real animal fur in his collections, saying there is no excuse to indulge in such “cruel practices”.

The designer and dresser of stars such as singer Beyoncé and actress Cate Blanchett says fur will be out from his autumn/winter 2016-17 collection onwards, with artificial pelts taking its place.

“I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has made a firm commitment to abolish the use of animal fur in its collections,” says the 81-year old, who is credited with pioneering red-carpet fashion.

“Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary,” he adds.

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Armani Group includes catwalk labels Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani, AJ Armani Jeans and homeware brand Armani Casa.

According to the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of 40 organisations for the protection of animals, most fur sold globally is from farmed mink, fox, rabbit and chinchilla – killed with methods ranging from gassing to neck-breaking and electrocution through the anus, all done to preserve the fur in a good condition.

“With this decision, the luxury brand is responding to growing consumer demand for ethical and sustainable fashion”, the alliance says, adding that worldwide more than 80 million mink and fox were killed in 2014 for fashion use.

Humane Society International says Armani going fur free is “probably the most powerful message yet that killing animals for fur is never fashionable”.

Last month models wore gas masks to demonstrate against the use of fur in clothing at a protest organised by animal rights group PETA, timed with Milan Fashion Week. Anti-fur protests were also held outside fashion house Fendi.

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Last year PETA targeted Hermès, slamming the luxury fashion label for its cruel slaughter of alligators and crocodiles to make its signature Birkin and Kelly bags.

More recently it hit out at Prada, releasing a video titled “Ostriches Killed for Hermès, Prada Bags”, showing scenes of ostriches being plucked, electrocuted and exsanguinated while conscious.

British designer Stella McCartney has long followed a “vegetarian” philosophy, shunning fur, leather and feathers. Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have also committed to going fur-free, but brands including Fendi, Michael Kors and Moschino still sell items with fur.