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Valentino joins the fur-free club

The luxury label will cease production at its Milan-based fur company at the end of this year

A model presents a creation by designer Pierpaolo Piccioli as part of his fall/winter 2020/21 women's ready-to-wear collection show for Valentino during 2020 Paris Fashion Week. (REUTERS)

Valentino has became the latest fashion powerhouse to abandon real fur, in a move welcomed by Italian campaigners as a "nail in the coffin for the cruel fur trade".

The iconic Italian house, controlled by Qatari investment vehicle Mayhoola, said it would cease production at its Milan-based fur company, Valentino Polar, at the end of this year and the last collection to include fur will be the fall/winter 2021-22 season, reports AFP.

The move comes owing to a growing customer sensitivity to animal rights and environmental issues. "The fur-free stance is perfectly in line with the values of our company," said Jacopo Venturini, the chief executive officer of Valentino, in a statement.

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"We are moving full-steam ahead in the research for alternative materials in view of a greater attention to the environment for the upcoming collections."

The decision follows a growing number of big fashion names renouncing the use of animal fur, including Armani, Prada and Gucci.

Martina Pluda, Italy director for campaign group Humane Society International, said Valentino's decision "is a major nail in the coffin for the cruel fur trade".

"Like so many other designers, Valentino knows that using fur makes brands look outdated and out of touch, and fur industry certification schemes are little more than the hollow PR spin of an industry that kills 100 million animals for fur a year," Pluda said.

Venturini, the chief executive who joined the Italian group last year when the luxury goods industry was hard hit by the pandemic, has also decided to stop collections for its younger label REDValentino, according to a Reuters report.

"The concentration on one, and only one brand, will better support a more organic growth of the Maison", the former Gucci executive said in the statement.

Valentino, meanwhile, is soon launching its first makeup collection across the world.

Valentino Beauty will include foundation in 40 shades, 50 lipsticks and "experimental" eye products. "Pierpaolo Piccioli, Creative Director of Maison Valentino, delivers his vision of beauty according to the time we are living in, by bringing his inclusive aesthetic where emotions, dreams, and individuality are essential," notes the announcement. "Valentino Beauty is human beauty, a couture makeup open to all genders, ages, and cultures."

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