Italian fashion house Armani has announced today that the brand will no longer be using fur in any of its collections, a move that will come into effect with the production of their autumn/winter '16 collection that was shown to the press in Milan earlier in March.
The decision has been hailed as a game changing move from such an influential fashion house with a fur ban across all of the Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans and Armani Exchange lines.
The Milanese brand that was launched over 50 years ago by Giorgio Armani is believed to have worked with the Humane Society International and The Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of 40 animal protection organisations in 28 countries working to end the fur trade, in 2015. Understandably the Humane Society are thrilled at the news, with executive director, Claire Bass deeming it "hugely significant for the global fashion industry".
"Those designers such as Prada, Fendi and Michael Kors" Bass said "who continue to put animal suffering on the catwalk are looking increasingly isolated, with this move by Armani probably the most powerful message yet that killing animals for their fur is never fashionable."
However, alongside the role that animal rights charities may have played in forming this decision, it is the fashion itself and the technological advances made within the industry with faux fur and synthetic fibres that really made up their mind. Designer Giorgio Armani said "Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals. Pursuing the positive process undertaken long ago, my company is now taking a major step ahead, reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals."
Armani is an extremely popular label with the red carpet elite, most recently dressing a number of attendees at the Oscars, including Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts and award winner and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, and a decision from such a high profile brand will make waves within the Italian fashion market. The Milan catwalks are renowned for their use of fur. This past AW16/17 season saw the likes of Fendi, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Blumarineall feature animal fibres within their collection so it will be interesting to see if this has any lasting effect on the runway designs.
However, there has also been an increasing shift in popularity to faux fur brand with the likes of Shrimps and Stella McCartney using synthetic fibres that look strikingly natural, which is one of the primary reason Armani have made the decision to reject real fur.