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Karl Lagerfeld fights back against Peta and defends use of fur in fashion, saying 'a butcher shop is worse'

The legendary designer has a few things to say about fur and the business behind and questions those who criticise it

Linda Sharkey
Thursday 05 March 2015 13:39 GMT
Man in the mirror: Karl Lagerfeld's self-portrait
Man in the mirror: Karl Lagerfeld's self-portrait

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.

"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.

Fendi's controversial ‘Bag Boy Karlito’

"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."

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