John Galliano Announces Fur-Free Policy in ‘Elle’ Exclusive

In Joint Interview With PETA VP, Edgy Designer Says, ‘You Can Be Outrageous Without Fur’

For Immediate Release:
April 3, 2018

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

ParisJohn Galliano—a longtime PETA target—announces in this week’s Elle France that he will no longer use fur in his designs. The article, called “An Anti-Fur Duo,” reveals how his chance meeting with PETA VP Dan Mathews prompted the designer to drop fur and become a vegetarian.

“I was swimming in the sea with Penélope Cruz in Saint-Tropez. And just then, Dan’s face popped out of the water. It was like in Jaws—very frightening! I knew PETA’s work, I respected them, but their reputation preceded them,” says Galliano, who cites a dated desire for debauchery as the lure of fur. “You can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!”

The two became friends, meeting in Paris to examine the latest fabrics replacing animal skins, such as cork. Galliano also credits his dog, Gipsy, as an influence. “He is part of the therapy that I started in Arizona. The idea is to take care of someone else, to get out of my egocentrism: My life is more balanced. I really became a vegetarian in order to get in better shape. I play sports, I take care of myself and I’ve never been more clear-eyed. The energy that I get from having fewer toxins in my body is extraordinary. The pressure in the fashion industry is the same, but now I know how to step away and meditate, and my life has gone from black to white!”

The rare, candid interview with the unlikely duo took place last month at Galliano’s Paris studio, where he designs for Maison Margiela, a luxury brand that has seen profits rise by 30 percent since Galliano took over in 2015, according to the company’s Wikipedia page.

Galliano is the fifth major designer to have made the decision to drop fur this past winter—along with Gucci, Versace, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors, who announced his decision immediately after a meeting with Mathews in December. “The fashion world is finally evolving,” says Mathews. “More and more designers are showing that you can be even more creative without being destructive to animals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—has made a major push over the years to expose the cruelty to animals who are caged, beaten, electrocuted, and skinned for angora, exotic skins, fur, leather, and wool. Style guru Tim Gunn describes the group’s impact on the fashion world in this three-minute video.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Translated interview:

An Anti-Fur Duo

Long divided on the issue, the designer and the PETA activist finally join forces around the animal rights cause. A joint interview.

ELLE: How did you become friends?

John Galliano: One summer, I was swimming in the sea with Penélope Cruz in Saint-Tropez. And just then, Dan’s face popped out of the water. It was like in Jaws—very frightening! I knew PETA’s work, I respected them, but their reputation preceded them …

Dan Mathews: We talked a lot; it’s thrilling to debate with men like John, who can evolve. From now on, Margiela, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Versace, Gucci and Tom Ford will be fur-free.

ELLE:How are the animals whose fur we use treated?

DM: It takes 100 chinchillas to make a coat. They are killed in China, where the regulations are very weak. It’s a blood bath. They are electrocuted, their living conditions are abominable. At PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), we also advocate for animals used in laboratories and factory farms, tortured for nothing, who endure a life of unconceivable suffering in a civilized society.

ELLE: Fur used to be associated with luxury … what is true luxury today?

JG: It’s authenticity. And inventiveness. By the way, Dan sent me some cork…

DM: It’s fantastic for for making bags!

JG: Today we don’t want a product, we want ethics, a firm that defends the values that we admire.

ELLE: John, was it your dog, Gipsy, who converted you to the animal rights cause?

JG: Almost. He is part of the therapy that I started in Arizona. The idea is to take care of someone else, to get out of my egocentrism: My life is more balanced. I really became a vegetarian in order to get in better shape. I play sports, I take care of myself and I’ve never been more clear-eyed. The energy that I get from having fewer toxins in my body is extraordinary. The pressure in the fashion industry is the same, but now I know how to step away and meditate, and my life has gone from black to white!

ELLE: Can we keep creative by being righteous and respectful?

DM: We are happy and accomplished human beings when we do respect others. Respect isn’t boring.

JG: You can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!

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