Some of the fashion industry has been moving towards cruelty-free wears, and designer John Galliano is the latest to join the animal-rights movement. The 57-year-old, who currently serves as the creative director at luxury French fashion house Maison Margiela, will longer uses fur within his designs.
PETA, rejoice! Another designer onboard.
Galliano explained in an interview with French Elle that his decision to quit designing with fur was two-fold. It all started while he was minding his own business, swimming in the azure sea in Saint-Tropez with friend and actress Penélope Cruz one summer, when all of the sudden he came face to face with PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews (quite surprising and “scary,” Galliano recalls, as Mathews’ head popped up out of the water like a scene from Jaws).
The two conversed, Mathews explaining the facts about the slaughter of animals destined to be killed, cut and sewn into coats, vests, bags, shoes, etc.
“It takes a hundred chinchillas to to make a coat,” Mathews told French Elle in the same interview. “We kill them in China where the restrictions are very low. It’s a bloodbath.”
Another reason for the #nofur decision: diet changes. Galliano’s cites his choice to go vegetarian as a reason to quit including fur in his collections. His new eating habits no longer aligned with his overall lifestyle, especially when it came to his career in fashion.
Fur used to be a sign of status. If you could afford an ankle-length coat made of hundreds of silky baby bunny hides stitched together, it meant you had money. Fur was luxury. But Galliano believes the definition of affluence is evolving, and with that a demand for ethical fashion. “[The real luxury today] is authenticity and inventiveness,” he said.
It’s a serious shift that’s happening on the catwalk, and one that will surely translate into what the everyday shopper will have access to purchase and wear. Just last month, San Francisco became the first major urban centre in American to ban the sale of fur within its city limits. The rules come into effect starting next year, giving brands a chance to rethink their inventory offering.
We’re still years away from the purveyors of factory farmed fur closing shop, but with heavy-hitting names in luxury fashion choosing alternate materials over fur, the message is going to be received loud and clear: there’s nothing stylish about animal cruelty.