By Wayne Pacelle
To say that our staff didn’t have much hope for famed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld to suddenly become faux fur’s biggest fan is an understatement. Head designer and creative director for Chanel, Mr. Lagerfeld has long incorporated fur into his high-end fashion designs. That’s why all of us at The HSUS, and many leaders within the fashion world, were more than a bit surprised—and delighted—when Mr. Lagerfeld revealed that all of the fur on the models at his recent Paris runway show was fake.
"The whole thing was fake, every bit of fur. But that seems right for the times,” Lagerfeld told press after the show. “It’s the triumph of fake fur…because fake fur changed so much and became so great now, that you can hardly see the difference,” he told another reporter.
Some in attendance in fact could not tell the difference: “Lagerfeld's compassion for the planet apparently does not extend to its four-legged inhabitants -- at least not this season,” Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore wrote about the show’s emphasis on fur, before Lagerfeld had revealed the fabric’s true origin.
Designers and fashion houses now have no excuse. We’ve known the moral case for alternatives to fur has been overwhelming. Now, just as a matter of aesthetics, it is clear that fake fur is just about indistinguishable from real fur. The only reason to continue to design with real fur is moral and fashion laziness.
P.S. Of course, we are mindful that when fake fur looks this real, some might think it is the real, cruel thing. That’s why our fur-free button makes a good accessory.