Breaking: PETA ‘Model’ Leads Anti–Exotic Skins Disruption of Gucci Fashion Show
Milan – Today, as Gucci held its much-anticipated show at the Gucci Hub in Milan – presenting the first collection from new creative director Sabato De Sarno – a PETA supporter stormed the runway, brandishing a sign that proclaimed, “Gucci: Drop Exotic Skins.” See video footage of the runway takeover here. (Footage available to download here).
“Every outmoded item made of exotic skins represents the pain and suffering of vulnerable individuals who don’t deserve to be mutilated for clothing and accessories any more than you or I do,” says PETA UK, Europe and Australia Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA took over Gucci’s runway to call on the brand to drop these cruelly obtained materials and to remind consumers that animals are not ours to wear.”
The action follows a PETA Asia investigation into an Indonesian abattoir that supplies Gucci, which revealed workers bashing lizards in the head with machetes and hacking at their necks in botched decapitation attempts. PETA notes that the investigation footage directly contradicts claims by Gucci’s parent company, Kering, that it is committed to “implementing and verifying the highest standards of animal welfare across [its] supply chains”, as well as its animal welfare guidelines, which call for “humane handling at end of life”.
PETA Asia has also documented that in the exotic-skins industry, crocodiles’ necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. Snakes are pumped full of water to loosen their skin, which is peeled off – often while they’re still conscious.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that Gucci has already banned the use of fur and angora and urges it to take the next compassionate step by dropping the skins of exotic animals from its collections in favour of high-quality, luxury vegan materials. Brands that have already done so include Mulberry, Chanel, Victoria Beckham, and Paul Smith.