Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” How true is that? Our surroundings influence us in all matters of life. For the following seven designers, animals have impacted their style and creativity so much that they’ve gone fur-free. See how some of the most influential and popular fashion moguls not only protect the environment, but remain faithful to its creatures.
1. Calvin Klein
Known for ads with a half-naked Mark Wahlberg and Kellan Lutz sporting underwear for people to drool over, Calvin Klein is popular worldwide for his fashionable designs. Founded in 1968, the company didn’t go fur-free until 1994, the same year they received a visit and quite a protest from PETA. Mr. Klein even sat down with the animal activist group and watched a film of animals being killed to make furs. Fortunately, he ended all fur licensing agreements after 17 years and now offers faux-fur designs. The 69-year-old designer provides a variety of items that you can sport proudly like this belted faux fur leopard print coat.
2. Stella McCartney
Besides being Paul McCartney’s daughter, Stella is a worldwide fashion phenomenon. From shoes to sunglasses to clothes, her eco-designs can be seen being worn by some of the top celebs. She has been a lifelong vegetarian and refuses to use fur and leather in her collections. A huge supporter of PETA, it really should come as no surprise about her commitment to our planet and its creatures. “If you’re like me, you’ve sworn off fur because you know about the gruesome ways animals suffer and die for fur fashions. And what about leather? That’s something people don’t think about as much. Anyone who cares about animals or the environment should become informed consumers on this issue.” Whether it’s her children’s clothing line or eco-clothing store in New York, Stella says no to fur and yes to organic fabrics and the utilization of green techniques.
3. Ralph Lauren
In 2006, Ralph Lauren decided it was time for his company, including his clothing and home collections, to go fur-free. Once again after a meeting with PETA and viewing graphic undercover footage of grisly fur farms in China, “where more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States are produced,” he decided to pull all fur from the shelves. In a released statement the company revealed, “[W]e feel that the time is right to take this action.” To show Ralph’s newly found respect for animals, he also donated 1,200 of his fall 2006 fur-trimmed coats to charities developing nations.
4. Vivienne Westwood
Famous British designer Vivienne Westwood is known for her eclectic style and taste. What makes the unique fashionista brilliant is her policy against using fur in fashion. In 2007, after speaking with PETA Europe, she said no more to fur. Her line officially became fur-free after getting rid of her last eight rabbit-fur handbags, which PETA Europe donated to a wildlife sanctuary to comfort orphaned animals. In addition to fashion, Westwood also remains faithful to animals by embracing a meat-free diet and supporting rainforest conservation.
5. Tommy Hilfiger
From Tommy Jeans to Tommy Girl to Hilfiger Denim, Tommy Hilfiger has been a major influence in the fashion world for years. He even became more of an icon when he shed fur from his company in 2007, with a little help from PETA. In addition to banning fur, the American designer also offers cruelty-free colognes. Now you can look and smell good when wearing Hilfiger products. Tommy is also big on donating to charities, and one in particular he supports is the Elephant Family, which protects Asian elephants and their habitat. Nice to see he reaches out beyond the fashion world to help the animal community.
6. Betsey Johnson
You may know Betsey Johnson for her extravagant clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories, or for her doing fabulous cartwheels down the runway after a show. However, she is also known in the fashion world for her faux-fur designs, since she refuses to use real fur. Somehow Betsey manages to create fur masterpieces that look like real fur was used. It seems like other designers need to take note from Betsey’s style and animal-friendly commitment.
7. Charlotte Ronson
English womenswear designer Charlotte Ronson is highly sought after for her fabulous lines, not only because she provides a range of styles, but because she respects animals in the making. Charlotte refuses to use fur and even teamed up with The Humane Society of the United States during the 2008 New York Fashion Week, where she debuted a fur-free runway show. The event also provided buttons, merchandise, all while promoting an anti-fur message. Charlotte’s name may sound familiar, as it should, since her twin sister is Samantha Ronson, DJ and ex-girlfriend to Lindsay Lohan.
There you have it. Seven fur free fashion designers. Hopefully in the years to come more fashion moguls will hop on the bandwagon and become cruelty-free in their creations.