FUR A KORS: As far as protests go the one organized by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Wednesday afternoon near Michael Kors’ SoHo store was fairly lackluster. A handful of members of the animal rights activist group held anti-fur signs and trailed the “Grim Reaper,” a scythe-carrying man dressed in black wearing an oversized characterlike head that was meant to resemble the designer.
A PETA spokeswoman said, “Although PETA has contacted the Michael Kors company numerous times in recent years to let him know that minks, foxes, crocodiles and other animals are electrocuted, bludgeoned, and skinned alive, he continues to use fur and exotic skins in his designs.”
Executives at Michael Kors did not respond to requests for comment.
While the occasional shopper stopped to see what was happening, numerous passers-by snapped photographs or film the character dragging a few furs and a handbag covered in fake red blood. Two security guards stood at the lower Broadway store’s entrance and two NYPD police officers sat in a nearby cruiser. Added reinforcement was called in due to recent protests at Canada Goose’s store at 101 Wooster Street, according to a NYPD community affairs officer. “As long as people are respectful, they can speak their peace,” he said as the reaper removed his costume. “This was peaceful.”
Earlier in the day, Kors showed an assortment of fur pieces on the runway, but there were not any fur options in the downtown store Wednesday afternoon. Nor was the handbag that was dragged by PETA’s grim reaper from Kors or actually made of an exotic skin. The coats were among the ones donated to PETA, which it gives to the homeless or animal sanctuaries to use as bedding for orphaned animals. Ashley Byrne, PETA’s campaign specialist, was undaunted by the scarce turnout noting the number of pedestrians who photographed the event.
One Pace University student, who checked out the scene, said, “I agree with them. I had no idea he used fur. Sadly, I do have a Michael Kors bag.”
Referring to a media alert circulated Tuesday that indicated the demonstration would be held outside of the Michael Kors show, but listed the SoHo store’s address, Byrne said, “Obviously, we’re not in front of his show.” That said, the store location was meant to reach the people you see riding the subway carrying Michael Kors bags or wearing his clothes, she said.
PETA representatives will join forces with supporters of Toronto Pig Save, Caring Activist Against Fur, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary and Their Turn for Saturday’s March Against Fur in Manhattan, Byrne said.