For several decades now, fur has been a controversial issue in fashion. Thankfully, the topic is currently not just a rallying point for protest, but subject of thoughtful debate. While in recent seasons fur has still been featured on the runway of a few prominent designers, some socially conscious and highly fashion-forward designers have chosen to side with the animal welfare cause. Among them, Hugo Boss, the iconic German luxury fashion house, recently announced going completely fur-free by its Fall/Winter 2016 collection.
When it comes to fur, everybody’s got an opinion… Although the fur debate has once more been hitting the headlines, fur trade in the fashion industry has been rapidly gaining ground over the past years and continues to be an extremely lucrative business. According to figures released by the International Fur Federation last year, the global fur trade has been estimated at around USD40 billion. That’s roughly the same as the global Wifi market industry! Despite pressure from anti-fur activists, “Haute Fourrure” is once again back on the catwalk. It is stoutly defended by legendary fashion designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, whose short-term ambition is to be the single point of reference when it comes to “couture fourrure”. The iconic designer, who is also famous for his outspokenness, recently responded to PETA’s criticisms with the stinging comment, “There are not too many people with an opinion I care for.” So it would seem that, at least for Lagerfeld, fur is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon.
Meet the new “Boss” in Fur-Free Luxury Fashion
While fashion without fur seems inconceivable for many luxury brands, other designers are paving the way by setting a new trend of compassion in the industry. Notably, Hugo Boss has been an avant-garde leader in the fashion world by not only taking a stand against animal cruelty but by also promising to go fur-free for all his future collections. After recently complying with the program of the Fur Free Alliance (FFA), the famed house of fashion will be embracing an absolute fur-free policy by Fall this year. The fashion label is thus sending a powerful message to its counterparts that fashion without fur can be both sexy and fashionable, and at the same time humane and ethical…
Hugo Boss thus joins a growing list of fur-free brands and retailers, including Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Zara, American Apparel, Esprit, H&M, Steve Madden, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and ASOS.
In a global social environment which is increasingly driven by ethical and environmentalal concerns, the fur industry has come to be seen by many as a threat to our environment, contributing to pollution and the slow extinction of our wildlife! Today’s instant access to information, thanks to internet and social media, help customers decide where to stand. Only time will tell which side will win —at this point, all bets may be off, but at least the battle is on!
Should fur be banned from the runways? Share your thoughts.
Picture above: Courtesy of Hugo BOSS