Nary days after Beyonce was slammed by PETA for her ownership of PMK shoes crafted from four different animals, and a few weeks after she was criticized for her Superbowl bodysuit of iguana and python, her hubby is now taking heat for perhaps the most egregious of their fashion stunts at the expense of animals.
Paparazzi photos show Jay-Z on many occasions proudly sporting PMK Brooklyn Zoo Air Jordans which are made from ten animal skins, including elephant. The bespoke sneakers, which run about $2,500 a pair, are aptly titled, as their materials listing reads like an exotic menagerie: Stingray, anaconda, ostrich, crocodile, calf, alligator, boa, python, lizard, and perhaps most maddening of all, elephant.
Despite fan outcry for his and Beyonce’s blatant disregard for animal welfare, Jay-Z posted a picture on his blog Life And Times of one of the shoes on a podium in his house accompanied by the caption, ‘Condos in my condo’. The sneakers, pictured below, market all of the skins used, with the elephant featured prominently in the advertisement.
While the thought of wearing elephant skin, or any animal skin for that matter, is distressing, perhaps more shocking is that it is actually legal to buy and sell the hides under certain conditions laid out in the Convention Of International Treaty Of Endangered Species (CITES). Items like boots, belts, and even pool cues and gun holsters made of elephant can be readily found on sites like eBay, and online retailers who sell elephant hides like Roje Exotic American Leathers, equate elephant culling in Africa to “deer hunting season in the United States.”
PETA founder, Ingrid Newkirk, told the UK’s Daily Mail that “there can be no shame or sense of decency left in the world that a few people, so out of touch with the wonder of nature, can show so much disrespect for life as to order up the slaughter of the smallest, most vulnerable and the largest, most revered of animals only to make them into a pair of shoes.”
While the famous couple, known for sporting his-and-hers fur coats to President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, has shown no remorse for their unethical fashion choices of late, we hope the public outcry will give them a dose of reality. Money can buy many things, but apparently compassion isn’t one of them.