In a candid phone interview with Women’s Wear Daily this week, designer Tom Ford—who adopted a plant-based diet last year—discussed his stance on using fur in upcoming collections. Interviewer Bridget Foley asked Ford about if his stance on using fur in collections has changed after competing brands Gucci and Michael Kors pledged to go fur-free. Ford recalled an incident when a woman employed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) threw tomato juice onto the designer at an event. While the designer admitted he is not yet “fur-free,” his view on using fur in fashion began to unravel during the interview—as Ford created a connection between the animals he no longer eats and those exploited in fashion. “The fur thing,” Ford said, “of course, is a natural thing. [Going vegan] starts to make you question that.” Ford explained that while he recently replaced mink and fox with “fake” fur, he questions the environmental impact of using products (vegan or not) that are not biodegradable, and stated that tanning leather is equally toxic. “I have been very conscious of using animal skins that are food byproducts,” Ford, who admitted that he occasionally eats non-vegan baked goods, said. “Because whether I’m consuming meat or not, other people are, so these are things that are collected.” Ultimately, Ford admitted that he was “torn” about his stance on using animal skins for fashion, stating that it continues to evolve with his diet.
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