Group Says Store Advertised Real Fur as Fake

Humane Society allegation sparks outrage

By katy tur
|  Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010  |  Updated 9:17 AM EDT
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A designer parka advertised as being trimmed with fake fur is actually trimmed with the real thing, leaving animal lovers outraged.

A designer parka advertised as being trimmed with fake fur is actually trimmed with the real thing, leaving animal lovers outraged.

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Like so many purses being sold on the street corner, the fur at Barney’s is fake– or that’s what the Humane society says the store led you to believe – at least with the collar on a Phillip Lim parka.

It's $950 and a good-looking coat - but that coat was living a lie.  Advertised for at least a couple months on Barneys.com as having a faux fur collar, according to screen grabs saved by the Humane Society. The problem? The collar  was actually taken from an animal, potentially a Coyote according to the Humane Society.

“Consumers who care about animals shouldn’t be duped into supporting the bloody and inhumane fur industry by buying items they think are faux fur when its actually animal fur” argued Patrick Kwan, the NY State Director of the Humane Society.

But this isn’t an isolated case. Instances of real fur being sold as fake are happening across the country.

In San Francisco, department store after department store sold the real deal while touting it as animal friendly faux.

The most common type of misidentified and mislabeled fur, according to a Humane Society investigator is Raccoon Dog fur.

Needless to say, those wearing what they thought was fake – were stunned.

Back here in New York, NBC New York found the questionable Phillip Lim coat in Barney’s flagship store. A quick check of the garments label – polyester, silk, and rayon – no mention of whether the fur collar was fake or real or for that matter what kind of fur it was and that’s a violation of New York state law.

Barneys New York told NBC New York that it took the parka off the website once it found out about the error.  The company has also removed the coat from the sales floor and “are investigating the matter with the brand” who made it.

When asked for comment that brand, Phillip Lim said it “never claimed the collar was fake” but it will look into making their labels clearer and are offering a full refund to those who no longer want the coat. Incidentally the a spokeswoman for Phillip Lim concedes that the collar was labeled as real Coyote fur in Japanese, just not in any other language.

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