No more fur for Armani

Starting from the fall-winter 2016 season (above), all of the garments in Giorgio Armani's collections will be fur-free.

The animal kingdom has one less fashion designer to worry about.

Giorgio Armani, whose designs have been worn by celebrities from John Travolta to Kim Kardashian, has pledged to cease using animal fur.

Starting from the fall-winter 2016 season, which hits stores in August, all of the garments in Armani's collections will be fur-free, the Milan-based company said on Tuesday in a statement.

"Technical progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposal that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals," Armani said in the statement.

A spokesman declined to say how much revenue the company gets from fur products, which have drawn the ire of animal-rights activists over the years.

Starting from the fall-winter 2016 season (above), all of the garments in Giorgio Armani's collections will be fur-free.

Armani, 81, follows British designer Stella McCartney and Germany's Hugo Boss in not using fur, which has been making a comeback on the runway recently.

LVMH-owned Fendi hosted an "haute fourrure" show last July, consisting almost entirely of mink and other animal pelts. The recent round of fashion shows in London included fur coats by Burberry Plc among others.

The global fur trade was worth more than US$40 billion in 2013, according to estimates by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network.

China is the world's largest importer of fur, according to the International Fur Federation trade body.

Armani's commitment "makes it clear that designers and consumers can have creative freedom and luxury without supporting animal cruelty", said Mr Joh Vinding, chairman of the Fur Free Alliance, an animal-rights lobby.

The Fur Free Alliance said most fur sold globally is from farmed animals, such as minks, foxes, rabbits and chinchillas - killed with methods ranging from gassing to neck-breaking and anal electrocution to preserve the fur.

"With this decision, the luxury brand is responding to growing consumer demand for ethical and sustainable fashion", the alliance said. It added that worldwide, more than 80 million mink and foxes were killed in 2014 for fashion.

Humane Society International said Armani going fur-free was "probably the most powerful message yet that killing animals for fur is never fashionable".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2016, with the headline 'No more fur for Armani'. Print Edition | Subscribe