Animal Rights Group Protest Against Armani

Marisa Iallonardo (August 07, 2008)
World-wide famous Italian fashion designer is under fire: his friendship and support of Spanish bullfighter Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez did not please a goup of animal rights advocates.

The Milan-based group 100% Animalisti joined the ranks of PETA in protesting against major fashion labels on behalf of animal rights on Thursday, with a poster campaign targeting mega-fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

During the early hours of July 31, the group attached various posters to the front entrance of the Emporio Armani store on Via Manzoni in Milan, berating the designer for creating an outfit for the renowned Spanish bullfighter Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez. The posters had such messages as: “Armani, bulls have hearts too and you’re dressing the bull fighter.”

“It seems embarrassing that an Italian fashion designer with worldwide fame could support such a barbaric tradition as bullfighting, and to go so far as to create a custom-made outfit for torturing bulls,” the group said in a statement on their website.

However, this isn’t the first time Armani has worked with 31-year-old Ordóñez, who hails from a long line of matadors (famed artist Pablo Picasso designed a similar outfit for Ordóñez’s bullfighting grandfather). Ordóñez has walked the runway for the designer and appeared in ads for his Hand Made-to Measure campaign.

This time the outfit, which Ordóñez will wear in the Corrida Goyesca de Ronda, in September in Ronda, Spain, features, according to Fashion Week Daily’s Chic Report, “a jacket, trousers and cloak in techno satin in a signature Armani greige. The three pieces are embroidered with sequins, glitter stones and thread, all matching the color of the primary fabric.”

But 100% Animalisti aren’t having it. They not only protested against Armani for designing the outfit, but criticized him for appearing in a current Italian PSA, where he talks about how much he loves animals and employs Italians to not leave their cats and dogs on the side of the road as they head off on vacation this summer. “It’s hard to understand how, for the designer, animals such as dogs are cats have the right to be loved, cared for and defended, while others, like the noble bull, can be tortured, humiliated and killed in an arena for pure entertainment,” they say.

The group, which has no political or religious affiliation, is no stranger to protests. They are known to launch various “blitz” throughout the country and in recent years have staged feedings of the pigeons in Venice’s Piazza San Marco, protests in front of the Ikea in Padova and others against the circus in Modena.