john galliano’s fur-free announcement has outrageously fabulous quotes
The Margiela designer was in St Tropez, swimming in the sea with Penélope Cruz, when a top PETA exec popped up out of the water and converted him. And that is how it’s done in fashion.
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You can’t fault PETA’s work ethic. Not tired from their attention grabbing demonstrations at fashion weeks around the globe (not the violent ones -- that was a different group), the furry friend lovers are even spreading the word during their annual leave. Well, we assume that PETA US VP Dan Mathews was on holiday when he emerged from the water in St Tropez, surprising the British-Spanish fashion designer John Galliano, who told French Elle, “It was like in Jaws -- very frightening!” If not, then Dan is really putting in some 007 shit in the fight to end animal cruelty. Rumours of him wearing a prosthetic shark fin have not been confirmed, and were in fact completely made up just then.
Setting the scene (and giving a masterclass in fashion-fabulous camp), Galliano told the magazine, “One summer, I was swimming in the sea with Penélope Cruz in Saint-Tropez. And just then, Dan's face popped out of the water.” Galliano says he knew of PETA’s efforts, but said their “reputation preceded them” and described the lure of fur as having a frivolous sense of debauchery. After speaking to Dan about the actually ‘debauchery’ of fur production -- “It takes 100 chinchillas to make a coat,” Dan explains. “They are killed in China, where the regulations are very weak. It's a bloodbath. They are electrocuted, their living conditions are abominable.” Galliano concluded: “You can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!” He confirmed that he will no longer use fur in his (much celebrated) designs for Maison Margiela. The decision follows fur-free announcements from Gucci, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, The Kooples, and others (including this model agency).
John’s beloved dog Gipsy -- whose furry face the designer obscures on Instagram, presumably to protect his celeb pooch’s privacy (very commendable) -- played a central part in his animal-loving transformation. “He is part of the therapy that I started in Arizona,” John says, “The idea is to take care of someone else, to get out of my egocentrism: my life is more balanced.” In fact, the designer’s initial conversion to vegetarianism wasn’t about animals at all. “I really became a vegetarian in order to get in better shape. I play sports, I take care of myself and I've never been more clear-eyed. The energy that I get from having fewer toxins in my body is extraordinary. The pressure in the fashion industry is the same, but now I know how to step away and meditate, and my life has gone from black to white!” Which is wonderful news for the previously frazzled creative, who spent time with the Jewish community after a drunken anti-semitic outburst.
Echoing Gucci chief executive and president Marco Bizzarri (who said fur is simply “not modern” when the Italian brand banned fur), Galliano says fur is no longer associated with luxury. Describing modern luxury, he says, “It's authenticity. And inventiveness… Today we don't want a product, we want ethics, a firm that defends the values that we admire. By the way, Dan sent me some cork,” he adds, seemingly apropos of nothing. “It's fantastic for making bags!” Dan explains.
So thank you, John, for ditching animal cruelty in your brilliant designs, and also for the most fabulous press release we’ve received all week. We’re air kissing you all the way across the English Channel. Mwah!
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.