(FAUX FUR FASHION/ANIMAL WELFARE) In August 2013, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced their plans to host a fur-free design competition at Parsons The New School For Design in New York City.

With help from progressive fashion designer Donna Salyers’ “Fabulous Furs,” junior and senior fashion designers enrolled at Parsons were given the opportunity to compete in a faux-fur design contest. Six students were chosen to face off in the finals using faux fur donated by Donna Salyers.

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Runner-up Marina “Carmen” Ramirez’s Fur-Free Design. Photo Credit: HSUS Facebook

The competition was rooted in efforts to get the fur industry thinking about alternative materials—specifically the elimination of real fur from designs.

The New School reports:

“This is definitely a new one for our industry,” said designer and judge John Bartlett as he walked into the small studio classroom where contestants were hurriedly placing their submissions on dress forms prior to the start of judging.

“This is so exciting! Faux fur is such an incredible product,” he added, glancing around at the varied designs.

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Winner Xuanxuan Li’s white design. Photo Credit: HSUS Facebook

On May 8, after nearly a year of work and tedious planning, Parsons announced the winners of the competition.

Grand prize winner Xuanxuan Li will receive $1,500 while runner-up Marina “Carmen” Ramirez will receive $1,000 from the HSUS as recognition for their creativity and innovative designs that successfully incorporate beautiful alternatives to real animal fur.

The HSUS started presenting at Parsons in 2009 in an effort to spread knowledge about the inhumane use of fur in the fashion industry, and as an effort to inspire new generations of designers to avoid collaborating with fur in their creations.

fashion, fur, fur-free, faux fur, parsons, HSUS, fashion design, new york city, cruelty free
Winner Xuanxuan Li’s black design. Photo Credit: HSUS Facebook

HSUS fashion outreach manager Michelle McDonald said:

“The HSUS is thrilled to be working with a school that has produced many of today’s top designers. This collaboration provides a unique opportunity to educate the next generation of fashion designers. There are many warm and fashionable alternatives for people who want the look and feel of animal fur but without the cruelty.”

Given the recent success of West Hollywood’s federally-upheld ban on the sale and distribution of fur products, a fur-free future looks bright and promising.

— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal

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