Brioni and Saint Laurent owner Kering is dropping fur across its entire luxury portfolio

September 24, 2021, 6:15 PM UTC

The hottest trend in fashion may be what people aren’t wearing: animal fur. French conglomerate Kering said on Friday it would stop using animal pelts in any of its fashions starting with its fall 2022 collections, the latest move by upscale brands and retailers to adapt to changing customer tastes.

In June, Neiman Marcus said it would close its fur salons and become fur-free by early 2023. Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s have made similar announcements. HBC’s Saks Fifth Avenue has said it will do so too by January 2022. Brands are also joining the fur exodus: Canada Goose, long slammed for its use of coyote fur, also said in June it would end the practice. Prada and Burberry are among the high-end brands to have ditched fur, too. All this reflects a cultural change exemplified by superstar Billie Eilish telling Oscar de la Renta she would only wear one of its gowns to the recent Met Gala if the couture house went fur-free.

Kering, whose portfolio also includes Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta has extensive experience with brands dropping fur: its flagship brand, Gucci did so in 2017 and has continued to thrive, as have other top Kering brands. Saint Laurent and Brioni, the remaining holdouts, will stop doing so by their autumn 2022 collections. It has become clear to Kering that younger shoppers are ready to punish companies for the use of fur.

“The time has now come to take a further step forward by ending the use of fur in all our collections. The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that,” Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault said in a statement.

In contrast to Kering’s company-wide diktat, its larger rival LVMH is leaving the decision up to each individual brand’s creative director. “Our stance is freedom of choice, for our customers and our brands,” LVMH Group Managing Director Antonio Belloni said in April, according to a Bloomberg report.

While the International Fur Federation lamented Kering’s move, animal rights groups hailed it as a long awaited, hard-fought victory.

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