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Norway Becomes the First to Ban Fur for Fashion Week



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    Fur, in some form, cropped up on nearly every runway for fall. Jason Wu gave his menagerie of toppers sorbet-colored dye jobs, while Ohne Titel melted our hearts with a silky olive tiers over a leather trench. The versatile animal coats served a multitude of purposes in all kinds of attitudes, from the rich hem of an uptown cocktail dress to a vest topper on a grittier downtown daytime ensemble.

    In response to the diligent efforts of anti-fur group Mote Mot Pels (Fashion Against Fur), Oslo Fashion Week has decreed a full-on ban of animal skins and pelts in its shows. In a statement, the general manager of the event, Paul Vasbotten, said, “We are doing this in order to increase ethical values in fashion.”

    Mote Mot Pels was founded by designer Fam Irvoll, stylist Kjell Nordström and fashion editor Hilde Marstrander, and draws the support of more than 220 Norwegian designers, as well as Norwegian Elle and Norwegian Cosmopolitan.

    As always, the issue has drawn some controversy: Copenhagen Fashion Week CEO Eva Kruse in neighboring Denmark pointed out to Ecouterre that “if fur farms are shut down in Norway, the production would just move to other countries like China, [and] we will lose all control of how animals are treated.” It sounds a little like the "cool" mom's stance that if the kids are going to drink, she wants it done under her roof, but it's certainly a spin-off of the if-we-don't-do-it-someone-else-will point of view many in the industry share. 

    It will be interesting to see how Norway's ethical stance develops in the international fashion scene, especially as fashion-forward Scandinavian design spreads to the U.S. in the form of lines like Acne and Camilla Staerk. Perhaps they'll see anti-fur designers like Stella McCartney come calling from overseas.