Former Spice Girl and fashion brand name Victoria Beckham recently was spotted carrying a (beautiful) exotic Hermès Birkin. She’s known for having an extensive collection of Hermès bags, so you might think no big deal. However, nearly a year ago, Beckham adopted a cruelty-free policy for her fashion and beauty brand. Which leads us to… if your brand bans exotic leathers, must you also forgo carrying exotics even if you already owned the item?
On the one hand, if you already have it, why not use it? You’re not doing any more or less harm – the animal is already dead, any harm occurred long ago, and nothing will change. Further, Beckham carries exotic and leather Birkins on the daily. Just a few months ago, in November 2019, handbag aficionados were drooling over a purple ostrich Birkin used as a carry-on.
On the other, what kind of example are you setting? To the extent consumers demand authenticity of a brand, Beckham fails that test. It sure smacks of hypocrisy when the edict is to be kind to animals and you parade an allegedly cruelty-made item.
Moreover, there are reports that Hermès provided Beckham with a specially-made “Virkin” – that is, a Birkin made from vegan leather. That’s right – Hermès made her something not readily available to the Hermès masses, presumably so Beckham could sport a Birkin while remaining true to her new mission. And yet, that’s not what she was holding.
What are your thoughts? Is purity necessary for a fashion designer (or any influencer)? We want to know what you think.