The good people at Fendi spent months preparing for what sounds like one doozy of a fashion show in Seoul, Korea, only to be told they’d have to leave out one of its major elements: fur.
The Italian fashion label, which is known as much as anything for its use of fur, planned to stage a fall/winter fashion show on an artificial island in Korea’s Han River next month. The show was billed as the brand’s largest staging in Asia, with over 1,200 celebrities, journalists and other guests invited.
But as chilly as it gets in winter, the reception a fur-filled runway was likely to get in Seoul would have been even chillier. According to the Associated Press, animal rights groups in Seoul threatened large-scale demonstrations unless fur was taken out of the equation, and this overwhelming opposition to fur caused city officials to ask that fur not be used in the show.
Fendi, however, was a surprised to learn that fur would be a problem. After all, the show is slated for June 2, and the company says it hadn’t encountered a problem with the fur at any stage of the months-long planning until now. What’s even more surprising, according to The Wall Street Journal, is that Korean fashion designers are using more and more fur in their own collections, and anti-fur protests are generally rare in Korea. Do we smell a little nationalism here? We think we do.
Representatives from Fendi and Seoul planned to meet today to come to some kind of agreement. Fendi wouldn’t cancel a show it’s been working on for months, but the protesters might just do it for them. If not, they’ll either go full fur and let the police worry about the protesters, or they’ll come to some kind of compromise. Or all hell will break loose and the protesters will frighten Fendi and a few other luxury labels out of an otherwise appealing emerging market. Or something.
What do you think Fendi should do? Should they strive to keep fur in the show, or should they leave their pelts in Milan?