The change of heart came after a chance encounter between Margiela creative director John Galliano — a longtime lover of fur — and PETA VP Dan Mathews in Saint-Tropez. “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!” the designer told French ELLE. The two went on to become great friends and over time Mathews was able to sway Galliano. Mathews and Galliano spoke together to the magazine to announce the policy change. In their interview, Mathews expounded on the “debauchery” of fur production, saying “it takes 100 chinchillas” to make a single coat and that they “are killed in China, where the regulations are very week. It’s a bloodbath. They are electrocuted, their living conditions are abominable.”
Mathews not only prompted Galliano to drop fur in his designs but also to become a vegetarian. “My life is more balanced. I 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,” Galliano said. “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!”
Galliano said Mathews also helped him source more ethically-produced materials, such as cork. “Dan sent me some cork…” Galliano told the mag. “It’s fantastic for making bags!” Mathews piped in. Galliano went on to say, “you can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!”
Check out some of the fur-free looks from Galliano’s fall 2018 Maison Margiela collection below.
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