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Versace is the latest designer to go fur-free

19 March 2018

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

“Fur? I’m out of that!”

The eponymous Italian luxury fashion house Versace has confirmed that it will no longer use real fur in its garments and accessories, joining the ranks of other high-end designers such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Armani and Michael Kors who have denounced its use in recent years.

With a growing concern for the environment and ethics within the industry, designer and vice president Donatella Versace revealed in an interview for The Economist’s 1843 magazine the label’s change of heart, disclosing that the brand has received much criticism from its longtime use of mink, raccoon dog, and fox fur.  “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right,” she told the magazine.

While the decision has been made public, the change will only come into effect from the 2019 collections onward. On Versace’s Instagram account she comments: “I’m] overwhelmed by all your positive feedback and support regarding this decision. Thank you, everyone! ❤💋”

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However, according to British Vogue, Mark Oaten, CEO of The International Fur Federation, also commented on the news, saying: “I am very disappointed to hear that Versace has said they won’t use real fur in collections. The majority of top designers will continue to work with fur as they know it is a natural product that is produced responsibly. With growing concern about the environment and plastics in fashion, I truly believe fur is the natural and responsible choice for designers and consumers.”

Following the death of founder Gianni Versace, Donatella commented that “fashion is a weapon that you can use when you need it”. While fashion played the crucial role of providing the armour she needed in the consequent years after her brother’s death, in the context of her decision to lead the company to go fur-free, it appears that the label is using fashion again as a weapon, only this time it’s motivated by compassion.

Other designers who are fur-free include Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Vivienne Westwood, Hugo Boss, Net-a-Porter and – of course  – Stella McCartney.

Photos: Instagram and Getty Images

WATCH: Here’s how you should actually be pronouncing ‘Versace’

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