For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2017
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Because of its focus on sustainability, Parsons School of Design—America’s top design school—has shed its longtime fur program and welcomed a PETA panel hosted by Todd Oldham. During this afternoon’s event, Oldham debuted his animal-free fashion tutorial video for students and led a panel discussion with Parsons professor and designer Joshua Katcher and PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. Photos from the event are available here.
Parsons’ increased focus on sustainable fashion comes as global demand for fur has crashed, while sustainable vegan fashion is on the rise, according to Forbes. More information about today’s event and its panelists follows.
Oldham filmed his new tutorial video—which shows how he creatively adapts various fabrics to avoid using fur, leather, feathers, and other animal-derived materials—at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which recently hosted a museum retrospective dedicated to his whimsical fashions. The Wall Street Journal reported that the outfits on display at RISD were “as astonishing … as they were on the runway,” and just this month, Lena Dunham sported “vintage Todd” on the red carpet at the premiere of HBO’s Girls.
At Parsons, Joshua Katcher’s research focuses on sustainability and ethics in fashion production. In 2010, he launched his Brave GentleMan label—a fusion of “future-textiles” for high-end suits and footwear made with “future suede,” “future leather,” and “future wool.” He also runs the men’s lifestyle website The Discerning Brute, which highlights “fashion, food, and etiquette for the ethically handsome man.”
PETA’s Dan Mathews has stormed catwalks during Fashion Week, occupied Calvin Klein’s office (after which the designer ditched fur), and been arrested countless times in America, Europe, and Asia. Last year, he joined Stella McCartney at Paris Fashion Week to highlight her new eco- and animal-friendly Ultrasuede line.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear.”