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Fashion guru Tim Gunn talks fur (specifically, what's wrong with it)

Our esteemed colleague and Unleashed contributor Patt Morrison caught up recently with Tim Gunn, the main man behind the popular fashion-themed reality show "Project Runway." Gunn expanded on the issue of fur in fashion (like any good fashion expert, he's against it; he's even narrated an anti-fur video for PETA) for The Times' All the Rage blog. Here's an excerpt:

Tim Gunn Patt Morrison: Do we have you to thank for the fact that there is no fur in the challenges?

Tim Gunn: Yes, thank you! I was called a fool when I was chair of fashion at Parsons and I invited PETA to speak to students. The industry went crazy. I said: "Wait a minute. The International Fur Trade Commission is coming here. I have a responsibility to bring another point of view, let the students decide." I would say if you're going to use fur, you have a responsibility to know its origins. At Liz Claiborne, every brand is now fur-free. A woman assaulted me verbally for my fur position. She said one of [her] favorite items is a mink coat, and that furthermore, it's sheared mink, so people wouldn't even know it's fur. I said: "Then you have even less of an excuse. Sheared fur looks like velvet. You could wear a velvet coat." I'm also not a great fan of faux fur that looks real -- I'd much rather have it look fake.

And yet every few seasons, including this one, you thumb through the fashion mags, and there's fur, fur, fur. PETA's chic, no-fur celebrity messages can't compete -- they can't afford to make the same splash that huge, rich fashion brands can, and it's the latter that drive buying habits. I won't say ''taste'' because it isn't tasteful.

There's no reason to kill animals for fur. Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, ''I'm in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement.'' Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion -- yes, dogs and cats.


Photo credit: F. Scott Schafer / Bravo

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Yay! I love Tim Gunn! Furr is just gross and I automatically lose all respect for anyone who wears it.

All of us, human and animal, have evolved to survive in the environment in which we live. Humankind evolved without fur partly because it was not aesthetically pleasing to potential mates...a lesson to those who clothe themselves in fur today. Ladies, men really do not admire you in your fur. They may pretend to admire you because this affectation of admiration pleases you. However, most men, in particular those men who are sensible and kind, really are not impressed. They are turned off by your waste of money, the throwing away of those animals lives, and your ignorance. Our brains are sophisticated enough and our hands skilled enough that we are capable of constructing beautiful warm clothing from fiber. Our civilization and culture enable us to live and stay warm without resorting to the primitive practice of wearing animal skins. We do not need to display our prowess to potential mates by demonstrating that we are capable of killing animals. Even in past centuries, our sophistication as hunters was demonstrated by quick, clean, humane and respectful kills and the frugal use of the raw material from each animal. Please, demonstrate that you too have evolved beyond your primitive ancestors. Reject the unspeakably cruel practices that are standard in the largest percentage of modern fur production and harvest. Stop wearing fur.

Good stuff Tim...Thank you


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