Maison Margiela creative director John Galliano is the latest designer to go fur-free, joining the likes of Gucci, Versace, and Michael Kors who have all made similar announcements recently. But other than Giorgio Armani, who went fur-free in 2016, Galliano is the only one who shows at couture week in Paris.
The designer, who has made a comeback ever since returning to fashion at Margiela following his anti-Semitic remarks and subsequent trial, spoke about the instance in a new interview with French Elle that PETA shared. He told the magazine, “One summer, I was swimming in the sea with Penélope Cruz in Saint-Tropez” when he randomly met PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews, who opened his mind up to going fur-free.
They went on to discuss their then-opposing views on fur; Galliano found it alluring because of its “frivolous sense of debauchery,” and Mathews explained the mistreatment of animals on fur farms in China and beyond. Galliano’s recent switch to vegetarianism – and his beloved dog, Gipsey – also played a part in his decision to go fur-free.
“[Gypsey] is part of the therapy that I started in Arizona,” Galliano revealed. “The idea is to take care of someone else, to get out of my egocentrism.” In fact, the designer’s initial conversion to vegetarianism wasn’t about animals at all, he said: “I really 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. 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!”
While Galliano is just now announcing his commitment to go fur-free, it’s been a while since the designer showed fur on the runway, outside of feathers, as Vogue notes. “[The real luxury today] is authenticity and inventiveness,” he said, providing one explanation for why he’s started turning away from fur. “You can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!”