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Charity to protest fur at fashion show

An animal rights group has said it will stage an anti-fur protest at Fendi’s Seoul fashion show if the Italian designer thwarts the city government’s ban on fur on the catwalk.

Government officials told the Italian fashion house Monday to remove all fur items from a show of its fall/winter collection due to complaints from animal rights groups.

But Fendi said it would negotiate with city officials in the hope of holding the show as planned.

Animal rights charity CARE and other groups now plan to stage anti-fur protests in front of the venue should the show go ahead with animal skins included.

“Seoul city has decided to ban fur products to approve people’s proposal and conveyed its position to Fendi but Fendi didn’t accept it,” said CARE representative Park So-youn said Wednesday.

“Therefore, Seoul city is in difficult situation due to differences of opinion with Fendi. If Fendi insists on proceeding with the fur fashion show, CARE has no choice other than to hold an anti-fur protest with other associations in Korea and overseas organizations.”

CARE, which stands for Coexistence of Animal rights on Earth, has organized petitions and campaigns against the show set to include 20 fur items.

The organization said that it expected 100 people from animal campaign groups to demonstrate on May 22 ahead of the main event. The protest is to be held at 1 p.m. at the entrance to the floating island on the Han river where the fashion show is scheduled to be staged.

Park said several groups would then demonstrate again at the fashion event on June 2 to “stop this inhumane fur fashion show.”

The organization said it had the support of other animal rights groups including PETA, WSPA, the Korea Animal Protection Society, Voice for Animals, the Korea Vegetarian Union and Hanulvut.

Fendi, which has a large market in Asia, reportedly said Seoul’s no-fur ruling had come as a surprise.

“I met with Seoul City Government officials last March and at this meeting there was agreed mutual excitement and cooperation for the execution of this premier event,” Fendi CEO Michael Burke told ABC news. “I’m surprised to learn of Seoul City’s decision to possibly cancel the event.”

More than 1,200 guests including celebrities, global media, and fashion leaders were expected to participate in the event to be held at a newly-built floating island on the Han River.

City officials said negotiations were still under way to hold the show, at which Fendi planned to present 40 pieces from its fall/winter collection.

“We have received complaints from animal rights activists and saw negative public opinion on the Internet ... we can’t let such a controversial thing be staged at a public property,” a spokesman for the city government said, on issuing the no-fur demand on Monday.

By Kirsty Taylor (kirstyt@heraldcorp.com)
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