We saw them in New York, at Coach, in London, at Burberry, and in Milan, at Gucci. No wonder, then, that PETA's anti-animal cruelty activists appeared in Paris on Saturday at the Hermès parade. Placard urging the saddler to stop the exotic leathers in hand, an activist joined the show, walking a few meters on the podium before being intercepted by security.
The coup de com' is successful: the video of the influencer Bryanboy tearing the famous sign from the hands of the activist made the rounds of social networks, and at the end of the parade, a question was on everyone's lips: "how do they get in?". Hard to say... "Obviously, we can't reveal our secrets," says Anissa Putois, PETA France's communications manager. But this is done with a lot of courage, and planning on the part of our activists. We have been campaigning against Hermes and its use of exotic skins for a long time. PETA USA became a shareholder of the house in 2015 to try to denounce the cruelty related to this practice. But we fell into a wall and decided to do this action. The brands targeted were not by chance: all of them, to our knowledge, work with farms that undermine animal welfare." Brands, especially French, insist (rightly) that leather is a "waste" of the agri-food industry.
In addition to fur (which PETA has long campaigned against and which has now become a non-grata material in the industry), the organization therefore targets leathers, especially exotic, and angora wool. Faced with the upsurge of these interruptions, other luxury brands are organizing to avoid being targeted in turn: identity checks at the entrance, verification of guests with unknown names of the organizing teams... "Brands are obviously more vigilant, but that doesn't discourage us," continues Anissa Putois. We are in a moment of societal paradox: on the one hand, society is increasingly concerned about animal welfare and, on the other, many luxury houses are not trying to change their habits, even though many alternatives now exist... So our actions make more sense than ever.»