Two months ago, Donatella Versace announced that her family’s iconic brand will go fur-free. So did Gucci in October 2017 and Armani in March 2016.
Wow! Sounds almost incredible. The brands that are synonymous with luxury have given up the single most luxurious fashion symbol.
Was it a sudden shift in their ethical viewpoints, a clever marketing strategy or the pressure of the public and the Fur Free Alliance that made them change their minds?
We don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter now.
What matters is the message these brands are delivering to the fashion world: Using real fur is becoming a symbol of ignorance rather than luxury and glamour.
And while ignorance may be bliss, in the fashion industry, ignorance means hundreds of skinned animals daily just for the sake of someone’s so-called glamour.
Of course, there are brands like Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, or Vivienne Westwood that either never used fur or stopped using it long before Versace, Gucci, and Armani.
So what makes Versace’s and Gucci’s opt-out from real fur special?
Their brand identities.
Both brands have defined luxury for decades. They've always symbolized excess and glamour. The dream. And that dream involved all the most opulent materials such as animal and reptile skins, furs, and silks.
The concept of luxury is changing. The buyers of luxury fashion have become much more conscious and the big brands know this.
Never before has conscious and compassionate been more on trend than today.
To be a fashion fiend no longer means shopping catwalks and using the “Price high to low” sorting feature on net-a-porter.com.
Modern fashion lovers no longer want to follow the trends blindly. They ask questions. They want to know who made their clothes, where do the materials come from and what trace does the production leave on the environment.
And this debate is definitely NOT in favor of the fur industry.
(Which is absolutely fine with us!)
Strangely enough, at the time Donatella Versace has made the announcement, the famous Italian house was still pushing fur trimmed coats on their store. Well, something or someone must have changed her opinion radically for she told the Economist's 1843 mag that she's out of fur because it just "doesn’t feel right.”
Even if this move is just a part of Versace's revival strategy, who cares? It screams out that the term luxury is being redefined and that fashion is slowly but surely turning more compassionate.
On top of that, nobody said the brands will abandon furry looks. As Gucci's CEO Marco Bizzari said:
"Technology is now available that means you don't need to use fur. The alternatives are luxurious."
Gucci has already featured faux fur in their Fall 2018 RTW collection.
Looks like we're about to see more of faux fur in the next seasons!
The question is, who will next join the fur-free movement? Any guesses?