Designer Giorgio Armani has thrilled animal rights activists by vowing to go fur-free.
The Italian fashion icon has been working with Fur Free Alliance, an organization which encompasses more than 40 animal protection agencies fighting against the fur trade, and has announced he will cease to use hides as of later this year. The fur ban will be extended to all the brands under his empire, including Giorgio Armani, Armani Privé, and Emporio Armani.
A statement from Armani reads:
"I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has made a firm commitment to abolish the use of animal fur in its collections."
The designer adds, "Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals. Pursuing the positive process undertaken long ago, my company is now taking a major step ahead, reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals."
In 2008, Armani became a target of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group after bosses at the animal rights organization urged celebrities including Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close, and Heidi Klum to boycott the designer after he used fur in his fashion collection that year, following a promise to go fur-free in 2007.
"I spoke with the people from PETA, and they showed me some materials that convinced me not to use fur," Giorgio told Time magazine.
Giorgio is not the only designer to go fur-free. Jason Wu, who created U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama's inauguration gown in 2009, also refuses to use fur in his collections. Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren have also switched to synthetic alternatives.