Slowly but surely – this is how one could describe the incredibly slow conversion to anti-fur in the luxury fashion industry. Every winter, many luxury houses still choose to flaunt their fur coats, even though there are many more who are as passionately fighting against them. One by one, the animal rights activists are succeeding. Thanks to some powerful activism work and the mindset change of the new generation, some of the biggest luxury brands have decided to go entirely fur-free. This is by no means an exhaustive list*, but these are some of the most prominent brands that have joined the fur-free club.
Words: Aleksandra Medina
Last October, the luxury fashion world was shaken to its core by one prominent fashion giant in the industry. “Gucci is so visible, so well-known – we need to use that in a positive way”, these are the words by Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s CEO, that accompanied his groundbreaking decision to make Gucci completely fur free. A decision inspired by the younger employees at Gucci, Bizzarri emphasized that the technology to make faux fur luxurious is already here. There is just no need for real fur anymore. He also expressed his hopes that the rest of the industry will follow.
2. Michael Kors
And that’s exactly what’s happening. Only 2 months later, last December, Michael Kors and its Jimmy Choo brand announced that they will be going fur free starting from 2018. Michael Kors’ chief executive, John D. Idol, accompanied his statement with the words “this decision marks a new chapter, as our company continues to evolve its use of innovative materials”.
3. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney can be called one of fashion industry’s biggest anti-fur activists there are. A lifelong vegetarian and a pioneer of cruelty-free, non-leather accessories, she managed to surprise the world with her gorgeous real-looking faux fur coats already back in 2015. So, while you’re celebrating Gucci and Michael Kors, remember that this industry-changing woman has been years ahead of everyone else. She has been fur-free since her company’s launch in 2001. Fur-free and cruelty-free have always been trendy signifiers with the most advanced fashion crowds.
4. Ralph Lauren
Another pioneer of fur-free fashion week runways, Ralph Lauren, announced all his clothing and home collections to be fur-free already back in 2006. His statement back then (12 years ago!) was short and straight to the point, “We feel that the time is right to take this action”.
5. Tommy Hilfiger
A year later, in 2007, Tommy Hilfiger joined the anti-fur club by announcing that his company will be fur-free. Citing ethical reasons for the decision in 2007, today Tommy Hilfiger calls it a sustainable evolution, and strives to be one of the leading sustainable designer lifestyle brands.
6. Vivienne Westwood
Well known for her ability to shock the fashion crowds, climate revolution line and political statements on the runway, it comes as no surprise that Vivienne Westwood is also a prominent animal rights activist in the fashion industry. In the footsteps of Tommy Hilfiger, 2007 was the year Vivienne Westwood joined the anti-fur community.
*Other luxury fashion brands that have gone fur-free include: Hugo Boss, Armani, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Kate Spade.