Anti-fur activists have always been a huge part of the twice-yearly spectacle known as “Fashion Month.”
With the level of their disturbance fluctuating from year to year, it’s usually hard to predict when yet another anti-fur protest will be on the spotlight in the fashion press.
But recently, animal rights activists’ tactics have become increasingly more disruptive and provocative.
Think of a Mary Katrantzou runaway…For those of you who don’t know what happened that night, I will set the record straight.
Imagine your typical anti-fur activist with an iPhone held aloft in one hand and a poster in another chanting “Shame on you. Shame on you all.” A pretty standard scene for those of you who are into fashion.
But what made things pretty awkward this time, was that Mary Katrantzou’s collection didn’t actually feature any fur in it. The only fur in sight was fake.
Similar thing happened in September 2017, when anti-fur protesters put up a three-day demonstration outside the British Fashion Council’s hub.
Protesters screamed in editors’ ears and spat on them – whether or not they were guilty of wearing fur. The only excuse animal rights activists came up with to justify their bizarre behavior was that, “It’s important to remind people year-round that wearing fur should never be in fashion.”
If the key word here is to “remind.” Surely there are other more humane ways of doing it? Where is the compassion that animal rights activists are so actively talking about? Especially now, when fashion has evolved so significantly?
It has become apparent that consumers care about sustainability way more than ever before. Fashion has come a long way since the extravagant 80’s, where ethics in fashion were treated as bonuses instead of necessities…
In the 21st century, fashion has grown to include a variety of issues- like environmentalism and workers’ rights, but, I’m afraid, stepping on one’s freedom of choice has always been an infamous practice.
And it’s not just PETA to name and shame for that…
Remember the early 2000’s when animal rights activists were actively hijacking fashion shows to protest using fur?
One notable example was at Christian Dior’s fall 2003 runaway when a PETA activist jumped on the raised platform only to be blithely pushed aside by one of the models.
Shameful situation, especially as the activist struggled to unfold her very own banner.
The problem with this kind of activism is its inability to engage with the audience and to establish a meaningful dialog.
The form of dictatorship that animal rights activists are using is only aimed at sparking press attention, in hope that one day somebody will join along.
Let’s face the reality- spitting and holding homemade signs, throwing red paint at old ladies or screaming in fashion show attendees’ faces is not going to achieve much. Quite the contrary, that’s exactly what we teach our kids not to do.
Even such famous designer as Marc Jacobs once wrote on his Instagram feed: “Protesting is one thing but being abusive and aggressive to people while protesting about cruelty to animals is just plain hypocritical. #shameonme?shameonyou!”
The desire to change things in the fashion industry is often a good impulse. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of people’s sanity. Personally, I still can’t quite get why some would support organisations like PETA who employ obnoxious and annoying tactics…
It’s cheap, outdated, unnecessary and shameful! There are many other ways to help animals…
Shame on you, PETA.
Just as we could see from Mary Katrantzou catwalk- the show must go on!