ON SECOND THOUGHT: Undercover’s Jun Takahashi has had a change of heart about butterflies in fashion and he relayed that message in great detail to animal rights supporters.
After featuring terrarium dresses with live butterflies on the Undercover runway last month during Paris Fashion Week, the designer has vowed not to use them again. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals appealed to the founder and creative director to do so on Oct. 10, and he replied nine days later with “a heartfelt letter,” according to a PETA representative, who shared a copy with WWD.
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Takahashi said he came up with the finale idea of having butterflies flutter around artificial roses inside a transparent dress, but at the same time he was worried about the butterflies. Explaining how the experience of having a white butterfly appear by his side after his grandmother’s funeral 20 years ago made him “very happy” and was reassuring of her closeness, the creative said since then butterflies often come by his side and fly near him for a while.
Despite that, Takahashi said he had worried that a postshow appeal would be made. Wanting the butterflies that were used to be “safe and in good health,” they had been ordered from a company that uses an ethical method for breeding butterflies and before the show they were given ample space, where they could breathe and fly around. After the finale, they were released in a park. “But at the end of the day, as you said, or as I thought somewhere in my heart, this act was still a mistake,” Takahashi wrote to PETA.
Regretful that that he had trapped butterflies that could fly freely in the sky, the Undercover founder promised that he would never use butterflies or other living animals in his creations again.
Before signing off as courteously as he had opened the letter, Takahashi said, “Please do not hesitate to inform us more on this topic as we want to learn to behave better. And I pray that the butterflies will come to my side again.”
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