LAGERFELD OFFICES RAIDED BY 15 MEMBERS OF PETA

Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK--Fifteen supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals raided the Karl Lagerfeld North America offices, here, at 730 Fifth Ave. Monday, shortly before 2 p.m.
After storming through the entrance to the designer's 16th-floor suite, demonstrators plastered antifur decals on walls, doors and handbags and left posters of animals' carcasses. The planned media event lasted for about 25 minutes. During that time, protesters shouted antifur messages and vandalized the office, while a few reporters looked on.
All fifteen protestors were arrested, according to police.
At press time, the firm was still assessing the damage, according to a spokeswoman for Karl Lagerfeld North America Inc.
The group is targeting Lagerfeld for his Fendi fur collection, according to Dan Mathews, director of international campaign, who organized and was arrested during Monday's raid.
"The issue is not about fur. They're using illegal methods to advance their radical cause," said Karen Handel, a spokeswoman for the Fur Information Council of America. "They infringed upon the rights of the people who work in that office. Last time I checked, this was America--a free country."
"Karl Lagerfeld is animal enemy number one," Mathews said.
Talk show hostess Ricki Lake was among those arrested. Minutes before the raid, she said she expected to be incarcerated.
Annette Johnson, a receptionist at Lagerfeld, said of PETA's action, "They came in here, putting things all over the wall. It's ridiculous. We don't do fur here. They're in the wrong place."
The company is looking into why the "big menacing group" was not stopped upon entering the building, according to a company spokeswoman.
"This was a serious violation. It was a very terrifying experience for the people who were here," the spokeswoman said. "Their tactics are really outrageous. They use intimidation and violence. They damaged private property."
PETA plans to continue to "purge" the use of fur in the fashion industry, Mathews said.

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