Eight naked models sought shelter behind a banner supporting the new anti-fur campaign being launched in chilly central London yesterday by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
The demonstration in Covent Garden - staged by the Boss model agency which has pledged to refuse all fur bookings - was mirrored by a protest in Times Square, New York, starring Calvin Klein's Marcus Schenkenberg and Joel West together with Versace, GAP, Mossimo and L'Oriel models.
High-profile nude figures have been used before to attack the fur industry. Supermodels Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell were recruited for Peta's "I'd Rather go Naked than Wear Fur" campaign, and Kim Bassinger accompanied the slogan: "Beauty is not About Wearing Someone Else's Coat".
But yesterday's attack came in the wake of a seemingly renewed acceptance of fur. This month's Vogue magazine features a full-page advertisement for a Fendi fur-trim coat, while a headline in French Elle claims "It's OK to Wear Fur Again".
The Fur Education Council claims that sales in Britain were up 30 per cent last year. But Peta spokeswoman Gillian Merrett said: "The fur industry will always play the numbers game. The figures ... might sound like sales are going up, but they include fur storage, which can account for 40 per cent of their income." She said the latest figures Peta has, for 1993, show that "since the late Eighties, sales have dropped by 60 per cent, and they're still going down".
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