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PETA takes Armani fur beef to the Oscars

February 3, 2009 | 10:46 pm

Pinocchio_armani2 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has opened up a new front in its battle for the bunnies with a full-page advertisement in today's Hollywood trade paper Variety  that brands fashion designer Giorgio Armani "Pinocchio Armani" for apparently breaking a promise not to use animal fur in his clothing collections.

Beneath a photo of the designer, at right, that has been altered to give him the elongated nose often associated with the fibbing marionette, is a plea to this year's Oscar-goers: "Until Mr. Armani makes good on his promise, please choose somebody else's clothes to wear to this  year's Academy Awards."

Before showing the Armani Privé collection during Haute Couture in Paris a year ago, Armani told reporters through an interpreter: "There is no fur in the collection. Many years ago I actually made a declaration that I wouldn’t use fur. I used some fur in some recent collections, and the organization PETA, whom most of you are familiar with, discussed this particular issue, and presented some information to [me] and [I'm] not using fur in [my] collection." At the time, he called the decision "limiting."

In the ad, PETA charges that Armani's "latest collections include fur-trimmed skirts and coats, as well as jackets and even snowsuits for toddlers trimmed with rabbit fur." PETA has also written to this year's Oscar nominees, asking them to leave the Armani behind on the big night.

An Armani representative said there was no statement immediately forthcoming as the designer had not yet seen the Variety advertisement. The representative was also unable to comment on the company's use of fur since Armani's announcement a year ago.

Although the organization's protests are a common sight at fashion week events in the U.S. and abroad, according to PETA vice president Dan Mathews, this is the first time it has  focused specifically on the Academy Awards.

"We've met with Armani in the past, and he seems far more concerned with dressing Hollywood than with protests," Mathews said. "So we're taking it to where he's most vulnerable. No designer cozies up to celebrities the way Armani does, and there's no organization that courts celebrities the way PETA does. So now it's war on the red carpet."

Where's Jiminy Cricket when you need him? Or does that tiny top hat constitute cruelty to cricketkind?

--Adam Tschorn

Photo: Courtesy of PETA.org

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