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Marc Jacobs Faux Fur Mislabelling


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So there is this controversy around some Marc Jacobs clothing with fur trim sold on sites like Neiman Marcus, which I think was found to contain Finn Raccoon fur, when it was labelled as faux.

I have read the news articles on this over the past few weeks and I am not surprised to see that many of them are bending the truth and attempting to appeal to the cutesy-wootsy pet loving readers - 'Finn Raccoon' is referred to firstly as Raccoon Dog (a correct name of the species, as is 'Tanuki', but that presumably sounds far too foreign and would not have the same cuteness appeal) and then to just 'dog'... and now it's being reported as something along the lines of 'Marc Jacobs has pet dogs so how can he use dog fur in his clothing'.



Of course, fur should be correctly labelled. But it's quite clear here that the term 'dog' has been used so that everyone imagines their pet dogs being made into coats, rather than the fox-like species it actually is.



I'm using Finn Raccoon in my design contest entry. It always has been the most controversial choice thanks to PETA, but perhaps it's even more so now.

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Yeah, I remember that. PeTA was all over that for a while but, once the hubbub died down, most people didn't care.


The thing that caught people's attention was the name "raccoon dog." The truth is that the raccoon dog is neither a raccoon nor a dog. It is more closely related to the fox.


I think PeTA picked up on the name, publicized it and started screaming "RACCOON DOG" like people were killing puppies! When people finally figured out that they were being played, they got wise and quit listening. I met several college students who got all whipped up about it. When I finally explained what a tanuki really was, they were like, "Oh..."


I figure PeTA needs a few more of this kind of publicity stunt.

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Yes, there is a general lack of familiarity with the fox-like species - I have found myself explaining to some of my peers exactly what a raccoon dog is.


A report in question, yesterday's Bikya article on Marc Jacobs: http://bikyanews.com/86649/calls-grow-against-marc-jacobs-over-dog-fur/

This is a newspaper based in Egypt. As such, it is hard to tell whether something has been lost in translation here (though they apparently have staff all over the world) or whether this is a deliberate attempt to make the average reader think about their canine companions. It isn't the only newspaper website doing this!


In my competition brief, I have stated that I am aware of the media issues around this fur type and I suggested some aesthetically similar species alternatives, but stated that I feel comfortable defending my choices in an articulate manner.


Speaking of puppies, you may be interested to read this article (or at least, skim it - I found it difficult to get through the whole thing, as much as I do try to read both sides of every argument): http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/31/peta-ingrid-newkirk-making-fur-fly


I particularly would like to draw attention to a quote from the interviewed founder of PETA when questioned by the reporter. This is regarding the recent issue of horse meat being included, unlabelled, in processed meat products in the UK:


'Would it have been better if we'd found puppy dogs in our burgers?


"Oh God, yes. That would have been wonderful!"'


She refers to the fact that the average consumer is horrified to find that they have been eating horse (as for me, I believe that everything should be correctly labelled, but I would in any case probably eat horse by choice if it were offered to me, especially abroad where it is considered more normal). From this quote, it looks like she would have been thrilled for everyone to have been even more riled up if they found out that they had been eating puppies. To this woman, the end justifies the means - PETA on the whole has a very Machiavellian approach to achieving their goals! It appears to me that they will tread on as many people and animals as it takes to achieve a strange, idealistic circumstance (that will never actually happen, so the ridiculous campaigns will continue).


Anyway, ramble over. I'm still going to state that my designs, if made, should contain Finn Raccoon. It is farmed in as regulated a manner as any other species produced by Saga Furs (which is what this competition is based around) such as fox and mink. I won't change my views because of a media misunderstanding.

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:o Enlightening ... I had always thought Finn Raccoon was a type of wild dog. I appreciate the lesson.


It is!

But it has its own genus within the 'canids' group. Visually, it looks like a cross between a fox and a raccoon (to me...)

But a lot of people see 'dog' and think 'pet dog'.

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That's why I usually call it Finn raccoon or tanuki. Besides giving the impression that it comes from pets, the term "dog" often connotes low quality.

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Yes - who would want to use dog fur in a high quality product anyway?


Interestingly, I left a comment on the article: http://bikyanews.com/86649/calls-grow-against-marc-jacobs-over-dog-fur/ and it appears to have been deleted. I stated that I think something has been lost in translation and that the fur comes from the Raccoon Dog, not the domestic dog. The fact that my comment has been deleted (unless I just can't see it) obviously means that this mistake was intentional.

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Either for or against fur, most people have preconceived agendas in mind when they put up web pages or make blog posts. Anything that doesn't agree with their agenda gets censored. Worse, these people often simply skim he postings to their web pages and don't analyze what is said.


Consequently, because of their shallow outlook, they miss out on a lot of good information and commentary that could help them.

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