Retailers, consumers and prices
Tim Gunn hopes for fur-free future
Tim Gunn, famous for urging contestants on the reality show Project Runway to “make it work”, has a new message for the fashion industry: Take Responsibility.
Gunn, also the creative director of Liz Claiborne Inc and a former chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons, is working with PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to spread the word that wearing clothing made from animal products is cruel.
People “have a responsibility to know about this. And if you’re going to use fur, you at least need to know which fur sources are less abusive than others, and if you have to use fur, then go to those sources first.”
Gunn is the narrator for the group’s latest video, called “Fashion Victims,” which among other things shows graphic footage of rabbits and snakes being skinned.
“There are such incredibly believable alternatives now, I don’t see any reason to use real fur,” Gunn said on Tuesday in New York at the height of New York’s semi-annual Fashion Week. “With so many great alternatives, why would you buy the real thing? Why would you? I just don’t understand it.”
Gunn hopes that showing the film will lead designers to think twice before they use fur.
Several notable designers, including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger no longer use fur. Most others are open to conversations or debates about the use of fur, Gunn said, but there are a few that won’t listen, and for those, Gunn said more aggressive tactics may be necessary.
For example, PETA is planning a demonstration this evening outside a gala event for a new Armani store on Fifth Avenue. According to PETA, Giorgio Armani promised the group he would no longer use fur in his clothing designs but then used rabbit hides. About two dozen people dressed up as “rabbits” are planning to gather outside the store.
“At this point in the relationship with Armani and the level of discussions, it may need something that will wake people up,” Gunn said.
A spokeswoman for Armani could not immediately be reached.
Here’s a full list of fashion brands that don’t use fur.