Photo credit: Neiman Marcus/Getty Images
The Humane Society of the United States sent fur flying on Wednesday when it tried to sic the Federal Trade Commission on Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for alleged false advertising and mislabeling of fur, reports WWD.
According to the petition the Humane Society filed, Neiman's and Bergdorf's have been hawking $1,500 Manolo Blahnik boots trimmed with "cava fur" and "natural ocelot fur." Just two problems: There's no such thing as cava fur, and it's illegal to sell ocelot fur because the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service classifies the animal as an endangered species.Um...oops?
The boots were immediately pulled off shelves. Later, Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder released a statement blaming the kerfuffle on a typo. "We made a mistake, as we do from time to time, and it's ocelot-printed goat, basically," Reeder said.
But if the Neiman Marcus Group, which owns both Neiman's and Bergdorf's, thinks the Humane Society is about to drop the case, then the goat's on them. Because the fur used on the boots isn't real ocelot, the company could be liable for misleading customers.
Liar, liar, designer pants on fire
"This is likely just another in the ever-growing list of misrepresentations of animal fur by Neiman Marcus," Pierre Grzybowski, manager of Humane Society's fur-free campaign, said in a statement. "This deserves a thorough investigation, and if Neiman Marcus is found to have violated the Fur Products Labeling Act, it needs to be held accountable for deceiving the public."
No love lost
This isn't the luxury retailer's first run-in with the Humane Society. The animal-rights organization filed similar petitions in 2007 with the FTC against Neiman's and other stores for allegedly selling items labeled as faux fur, raccoon, or rabbit when they were actually made of fur from domestic dogs, raccoon dogs, and wolves.