Gillian in Armani fur fight
Posted at 5:46 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Daily Mail, UK
25th September 2008
By Richard Kay

On the fashion front line it has broken friendships and strained business loyalties. No issue divides models, designers and the celebrities who wear their clothes quite like fur.

Now, just weeks from giving birth to her third baby, X Files star and animal rights campaigner Gillian Anderson has upped the tempo by agreeing to spearhead a campaign against Italian genius Giorgio Armani.

She claims he has gone back on his word and incorporated rabbit and fox fur into his latest creations. Significantly, she has timed her attack to coincide with Milan Fashion Week.

Last year in Paris, Armani announced he would no longer use real fur after viewing a disturbing video made by Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - whose high-profile supporters include Stella McCartney and Ricky Gervais.

Campaigners say Armani has abandoned his pledge because his ready-to-wear collection this season includes outfits featuring both rabbit and fox fur. What particularly upset Gillian is a new line of fur coats for toddlers and even a fur snow suit for babies.

This week, Gillian met Peta vice-president Dan Mathews in Soho, a day after he flew back from Milan having visited Armani executives. Over lemonade and apple crumble at the Groucho Club, she agreed to narrate a video of undercover footage taken inside rabbit fur farms.

She said she would have to make the film this week "because I'm virtually ready to pop".

The London-based actress tells me: "I am stunned that Armani has gone back on his word. I can't understand why anyone would want to use real fur, and especially rabbit because it is so easy to replicate as the pile is so short."

Says Mathews: "Gillian will be narrating our new video which shows our investigations in France and China from where we believe Armani gets his rabbit fur."

A spokesman for Armani insists they were honouring their commitment to Peta to refrain from future use of any animal furs other than humanely sourced rabbit fur, adding: "As a luxury fashion house which has always been attentive to this issue, we feel we are being unfairly targeted in comparison to our competitors."