Fur flies: Top designers lead fightback

Some of fashion's biggest names are refusing to heed the animal activists' campaign to ban its use. Jonathan Owen and Mark Jewsbury report

Fur is back on the catwalk, and where fur appears, protests follow. Now some of the biggest names in fashion, including Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani, are fighting back in the face of fresh assault from animal activists who are calling for a ban on its use.

Activists, emboldened by a pledge extracted from the designer Donna Karan to stop using fur after they labelled her a "bunny butcher", have now widened their range of targets.

As well as leading designers, fur-wearing celebrities have been singled out for "shame attacks". The actor Gwyneth Paltrow; model turned businesswoman Liz Hurley and the Welsh classical singer Katherine Jenkins are all the focus of vociferous protests led by the campaign group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Despite the early success of the campaign, it is now running into determined opposition from many of the industry's most illustrious designers. The French designer Jean Paul Gaultier last night refused to stop using fur. "He has always used fur for his creations and he will continue to do so," a spokesman said. "We do not use fur from animals killed in the wild, only those that are farmed." Lagerfeld also hit back, describing the debate as "childish" in a "meat-eating world".

Peta's latest target is Giorgio Armani, citing the rabbit-trimmed jackets and fur-hemmed skirts in his autumn 2008 collections. Last night they accused the Italian designer of having "a cruel obsession with rabbits". "If Armani had the guts to see how terrified rabbits have their fur ripped from their bodies for its fashion whims we bet it would switch to fake," a Peta spokesman said.

Armani has responded by attacking the protesters' tactics. "We must stress that Peta is exploiting our name to stir up public opinion without acknowledging that we include very few fur items in our collections, while certain competitors of ours base much of their business on furs."

The counterattack may be a sign of frustration at campaigners' tactics. The singer Courtney Love has confessed to being "a fur whore" on the internet. In a blog entry she wrote: "If it's 100 years old I'm into it. Sorry Peta. This ermine is ancient and tattered and feels like it belonged to a Queen."

Lindsay Lohan's girlfriend, Samantha Ronson, also hit back after the actor was flour-bombed by protesters in Paris and branded a "fur hag" late last year. Ronson said: "I don't wear fur, but I don't think I have the right to attack those who do. No one has that right. Peta should focus their efforts on educating people on what they believe are injustices."

The British Fur Trade Association said yesterday: "People do not want to be dictated to. Whether it is with regards to eating meat or wearing leather or fur the public want to make up their own minds."

Campaigners resolved to continue their campaign. "We remain hopeful that no one is beyond becoming fur free. We continue diplomatic efforts at the same time as our protests," a Peta spokesman said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Senior IP Opportunity at Major Firm

    vary Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - AN OPENING AT A VERY HIGH Q...

    Nursery Manager

    £100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

    Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

    £24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    £45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes