As creative director of Louis Vuitton, Pharrell recently created a $1 million handbag made of crocodile skin.
While many may consider this high fashion, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), believes it to be a heinous act of animal abuse.
The Happy hit singer’s first major decision as leader was well received by the public, but something he did more recently has generated controversy. The animal rights group obtained an open letter from PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange, which was sent to the producer:
“Dear Pharrell, This is an invitation the likes of which you’ve never been offered before. When you were made men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton, we hoped animals would get lucky and that you would choose vegan fabrics, which are the preference of today’s ethical and environmentally conscious consumers. But we aren’t happy to note your newest design, the “Millionaire” Speedy bag, which is crafted from crocodile skin because when it comes to animals being used for fashion, it isn’t beautiful—it’s abuse.”
The letter went on: “A PETA Asia investigation revealed that while live crocodiles were still conscious, workers at LVMH’s suppliers were sawing open their necks and forcing metal rods down their spines. According to the results of another investigation, employees of the facilities that supplied LVMH repeatedly struck pythons on the head, suspended them in midair, inflated their bodies with water, and disemboweled them while they were still moving.”
“We’d like to invite you on a less-than-luxurious tour of a filthy (for that’s what they are) crocodile factory farm with us to see the living origins of your ‘Millionaire’ bag,” she said, going into detail about the terrible conditions under which such products are made.
“You’d want to bring along nose plugs and high boots to wade through fetid, waste-filled water. If we go to an indoor tank, also bring a flashlight, because you won’t see daylight. There are no blurred lines here. Killing wildlife for a bag isn’t cool — it’s cold. Are you up for this trip?”
To date, Pharrell has not addressed any of the criticism, including that which comes from PETA.
Pharrell took over as head of menswear at Louis Vuitton earlier this year. The unexpected passing of Virgil Abloh left the post vacant for a while. The fashion label experienced a lot of hip-hop style in the producer’s debut show, which featured Clipse reuniting to premiere a brand-new song on the runway.