Michael Kors is officially going fur-free. Kors and his brand announced today that fur will no longer be used in the company’s products. Production will be phased out at the end of December 2018. This new policy will not only apply to the Michael Kors brand, but also to Jimmy Choo, another high-ranking fashion brand that Kors acquired last July.
In the past, Michael Kors has sent multitudes of furs down the runway. Animal rights violations inherent to the fur industry were brought directly to Kors’ attention when a big speech at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art was interrupted in June 2017 by animal rights protestors. This, is in addition to the pressures put on the company by other animal activist groups like PETA and the Humane Society of the United States, led the designer to make the decision.
The brand has certainly turned over a new leaf, standing confidently behind new, animal-free alternatives. The designer himself said, “Due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur.” He continued, “We will showcase these new techniques in our upcoming runway show in February.”
With other big name fashion houses like Gucci committing to going fur-free in 2018, influential companies like Armani, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Zara and Burlington Coat Factory having already gone fur-free, and faux fur brands like Pelush leading the “Refauxlution,” fur is seeing widespread resistance. Where it was once passively accepted and worshipped for the ‘elite’ label its producers advantageously attached to it, it is now being replaced with vegan alternatives that keep animals from being bred, caged, and slaughtered (because getting fur from an animal is nothing like giving them a haircut).
The industry still has a long way to go. Fur Information Council of America spokesperson Keith Kaplan explained, “Nearly 70 percent of major designers included fur in their Autumn/Winter 2017 collections.” Despite this, Michael Kors is taking a stand and, undoubtedly, others will follow his lead toward a more compassionate future.