Over the past few years, we've seen more and more luxury brands move away from real animal fur. Gucci, Bottega Veneta and, more recently, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga have laid out plans to phase it out of their collections. Now, their owner is making it official across the board.
On Friday, Kering announced that, as a company, it would no longer allow for the use of animal fur in its products, starting next autumn. That means the last two brands under the French luxury conglomerate's umbrella that were still working with fur, Saint Laurent and Brioni, will stop by their Fall 2022 collections.
"For many years, Kering has sought to take the lead in sustainability, guided by a vision of luxury that's inseparable from the very highest environmental and social values and standards," François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said, in a statement. "When it comes to animal welfare, our Group has always demonstrated its willingness to improve practices within its own supply chain and the luxury sector in general. The time has now come to take a further step forward by ending the use of fur in all our collections. The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that."
Animal welfare groups, which have been advocating for and working with brands to drop fur, are celebrating the news.
"The future is clearly fur-free and now one of the world's largest luxury fashion conglomerates agrees," Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States and president of Humane Society International, said, in a statement. (Both organizations worked with Gucci on its fur-free policy, which was introduced in 2017.) "As markets around the globe close their doors to fur products opting instead for innovative humane products, it makes complete sense for a power fashion house like Kering to make this ethical decision. We couldn't be more proud of our long-standing relationship with Kering and its brands and look forward to continuing our work with them to pave the way for a kinder fashion world."
PJ Smith, the Humane Society of the United States' director of fashion policy, added: "Kering is synonymous with luxury fashion, and with this announcement, it marks a new era for what is considered luxury to now include what is socially responsible, ethical and innovative. We hope the rest of the fashion industry will take notice choosing compassion and innovation over an outdated idea of luxury."
PETA, which has staged protests against Saint Laurent over its use of fur for years, also issued a statement: "Nobody with a heart will wear fur, no designer with any sense will touch it, and any fashion house still selling it in 2021 is an embarrassment," said the organization's president, Ingrid Newkirk.