Fashion designer Dennis Basso has provoked fury among animal rights campaigners, after he sent models down the catwalk in fox jackets, mink coats and even alligator vests.
His New York fashion show was attended by celebrity fur fans including Sex in the City author Candace Bushell and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The four stars of new TV series Lipstick Jungle, including actress Brooke Shields, smiled for the cameras as they tripped into the show in their stilettos.
Sex and the City author Candace Bushell and Lipstick Jungle star Lindsay Price also wore fur trimmed clothes
Furrier Dennis Basso gave his well-heeled crowd plenty of controversial fashions to choose from. Models were dressed in fox jackets and mink coats. The designer even included a crocodile coat with lynx sleeves and alligator vests trimmed with Russian sable.
An angry group of animal rights' campaigners rallied outside. They wore grim reaper masks and held up bloody animal pelts and a banner that read 'Furriers live on blood money.'
"Dennis Basso is a notorious animal abuser who specializes in Broadtail, which is the fur of an unborn lamb," a spokesman from the NYC Animals Rights group said.
Referring to the stars attending the show he said: "Many celebrities like Candace Bushell wear fur because it is given to them for free by designer who want to promote their cruelty. It's good publicity for the furrier but not for the celebrities. She should be ashamed of herself."
Protestors from the NYC Animals Rights group made a noise outside
The protestors describe themselves as a 'group of compassionate friends with the common interest of helping animals.' They hold demonstrations around New York and also work with international organisations such as PETA.
But Mr Basso has defended his range and said only 40 per cent would feature fur.
"I was originally a clothing designer who happened to end up doing furs," he told Women's Wear Daily.
"It was about designing the coat, and then finding the right fur to fit the design."
Dennis Basso greeted celebrities including Brooke Shields to his catwalk
Designer Dennis Basso used fox and mink fur and even alligator.
However, Dennis Basso has been blamed for fuelling the growing popularity of fur among celebrities. Once seen as a fashion faux pas in Hollywood, stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Mary Kate Olsen now proudly parade their pelts. Just this week Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria was snapped wearing a Basso fur coat in New York.
According to the Fur Free alliance, it takes 10 to 12 beavers, 15 to 20 foxes or 60 to 80 minks to make a fur coat. More than 45 million animals worldwide including rabbits and chinchillas are raised in cages and killed for their fur each year.