Versace confirmed that the brand is going fur-free as part of a broader plan to embrace a more conscious and environment-savvy approach to fashion. In an official statement sent on March 16, the company announced that it will completely phase out fur from its product lines starting with its 2019 collections.
“Fur products already represent a minor part of Versace’s product line,” CEO Jonathan Akeroyd said. “This commitment is part of a broader, sustainable innovation program the company is pursuing that includes not only a strong commitment to work across our entire supply chain, but also a strong and deep cultural shift that will benefit all employees.”
The Italian luxury brand launched its sustainable initiative with the opening of a new London boutique in Sloane Street, the first of its kind to be LEED-certified. It also plans to open new eco-friendly stores in Miami and Munich this year.
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Among the spate of controversial issues that plague the fashion industry, fur has found its home at the top.
As animal rights groups put more pressure on designers and preferences continue to change in new consumer demographics, it’s no surprise that a growing number of designers are turning their backs on the product — with Versace becoming the latest luxury brand to denounce the use of real fur.
A staple at the Italian fashion house, fur has long been associated with Versace’s glamorous aesthetic. However, in a recent interview with The Economist‘s cultural magazine, 1843, chief designer Donatella Versace rejected its use as a style statement, hinting that fur will no longer be used in Versace collections. “Fur? I am out of that,” she said. “I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right.”
Just hours before Versace’s statement, fellow Italian brand Furla revealed that it was going fur-free starting with its cruise ’19 collection, which hits stores in November. (The company added that it will be substituting the animal product with ecological fur.) Gucci also announced last fall that it was committed to sustainability, unveiling a plan to ban mink, coyote, fox, rabbit and all other species’ pelages from its 2018 collections as well as auction off the remaining animal fur pieces. Other brands that have already cut fur from their collections include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Stella McCartney.
On its website, Versace appears to still offer a $1,450 square cushion made of silk and rabbit fur. The company has yet to make an official statement about the use of fur in future collections.
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