Last week animal rights organisation Peta condemned Italian fur-specialist brand Fendi following the announcement of a haute couture fur show, but yesterday the brand’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld had his say defending the use of fur in fashion.
In a candid interview with The New York Times, the legendary designer behind Chanel, Fendi and his own label Karl Lagerfeld, explained fur is an industry for many Americans while questioning critics who also eat meat.
Peta UK Director Mimi Bekhechi told The Independent: “Fendi's 'haute horreur' and their hiring of Karl Lagerfeld, who dresses like an undertaker and enjoys putting corpses into his collections, is all quite shameful and pathetic.”
To which Lagerfeld said: "It's very easy to say no fur, no fur, no fur, but it's an industry.
“Who will pay for all the unemployment of the people if you suppress the industry of the fur? The hunters in the north for the sable, they have no other job, there is nothing else to do. Those organizations who are much against it, they are not Bill Gates," he added.
And to Lagerfeld there’s a fundamental question in all the criticism. "The problem with fur…For me, as long as people eat meat and wear leather, I don't get the message."
It’s no secret Lagerfeld’s love for his white "famous cat" Choupette (he even wrote a book about her) so he’s known as an animal lover, but how does he reconcile his animal loving instincts with those that love to design with fur.
Karl Lagerfeld's memorable quotes
Karl Lagerfeld's memorable quotes
1/15 On his fashion obsession:
'I'm kind of a fashion nymphomaniac, but who never gets an orgasm'
2/15 On tattoos:
'I think tattoos are horrible. It's like living in a Pucci dress full-time'
3/15 On his ego:
'I'm very much down to Earth. I'm just not from this Earth'
4/15 On Pippa Middleton:
'I don't like the sister's face. She should only show her back'
5/15 On Conchita Wurst:
'We have all heard of 'bearded ladies' but no one has ever seen a bearded man posing as a lady... This brings new meaning to the term 'drag''
Karl Lagerfeld/ CR Fashion Book
6/15 On Coco:
'What I've done, Coco Chanel would never have done. She would have hated it'
7/15 On sweatpants:
'Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants'
8/15 On his cat, Choupette:
'She's like a kept woman. She has a strong personality. She has lunch and dinner with me on the table with her own food. She doesn't want to eat on the floor'
9/15 On vanity:
'Vanity is the healthiest thing in live'
PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images
10/15 On fat people:
'The hole in social security, it's also [due to] all the diseases caught by people who are too fat... no one wants to see curvy women on the runway'
11/15 On Michelle Obama:
'I adore Madame Obama, I love her. But there is a news reader at LCI which has this haircut...Frankly, this doesn't suit her. The fringe was a bad idea, it's not good'
12/15 On his infamous sunglasses:
'They're my burka'
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
13/15 On fur:
'In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and even clothes, the discussion of fur is childish'
14/15 On ugly people:
'What I hate is nasty, ugly people... the worst is ugly, short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible'
15/15 On Heidi Klum
'I don't know Heidi Klum. She was never known in France. Claudia Schiffer also doesn't know who she is'
"I'm very sympathetic. I hate the idea of killing animals in a horrible way, but I think all that improved a lot," he explained. "I think a butcher shop is even worse. It's like visiting a murder. It's horrible, no? So I prefer not to know it."
Talking about the upcoming Fendi show to be presented in July during Paris couture fashion week he explained: “It's not a celebration. It's a new start. In the past, Fendi did only fur. Then they started to do ready-to-wear and funny fur [faux fur], but this was 40 years ago," he shared.
"Now, it's time to do the highest level of couture fourrure. But better to do it during haute couture because it's the right place to show it to the right people."
When announcing the Italian brand’s first haute couture or “couture fur” show, an occasion that will mark the 50th anniversary of the designer's work for the Roman label, he said: “For me, Fur is Fendi and Fendi is Fur, Fun Furs! Fendi is my Italian version of creativity. The Fendi Haute Fourrure fashion show is the opportunity to stage the Royal Furs of Furs”, commented Karl Lagerfeld who is Creative Director of the brand.
At the end of it all, he admits: "There are not too many people with an opinion I care for."