May 16, 2011 (AFP) – South Korea’s capital city has told Italian fashion house Fendi to remove all fur items from a show of its fall/winter collection due to complaints from animal rights groups, officials said Monday.
“We have received complaints from animal rights activists and saw negative public opinion on the Internet… we can’t let such a controversial thing be staged at a public property,” a spokesman for the city government told AFP.
Fendi has scheduled the show on June 2 at a newly-built floating island on the Han River, which the city wants to promote as a landmark.
The Italian firm said city officials last week threatened to cancel the event unless all fur items were removed from the catwalk.
Fendi described the short notice as “difficult to understand… in light of the months of preparation and cooperation” leading up to the event.
“I’m surprised to learn of Seoul city’s decision to possibly cancel the event if Fendi does not remove all fur pieces just two weeks before the event,” Fendi CEO Michael Burke said in a statement Sunday night.
The company, however, said it would continue to negotiate with city officials in the hope of holding the show as planned.
City officials said negotiations were still under way to hold the show, at which Fendi planned to present 40 pieces from its fall/winter collection including 20 fur items.
“This is the first time for us to hold a fashion show on city property so we knew little about how things like this work,” a Seoul city official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“The show has not been cancelled yet… we are still working on it.”
Fendi said more than 1,200 guests including foreign and Korean celebrities, global media and cultural and fashion leaders were scheduled to attend.
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