Why is Jennifer Lopez still wearing fur in an age of ethical fashion?

Despite most major fashion houses stopping using pelts, this singer refuses to give them up

Jennifer Lopez on stage for the 'It's My Party' tour. Instagram / Sandy Blye 
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Jennifer Lopez, JLo, Jenny from the Block: call her what you will, but this gal has certainly carved herself a stellar career. With an estimated worth of $400 million (Dh1.46 billion), Lopez is a one-woman industry; singer, dancer and, at times, actor.

Engaged to Alex Rodriguez, once one of baseball's highest paid players, in the middle of a sell-out American tour and having just celebrated her 50th  birthday, even the most hard-nosed celeb hater (ie me), who detests reducing a sentient human being to mere looks, has to admit – she looks fantastic.

Yet there is something terribly, terribly odd about her. For all her wealth and success, she is still wearing fur.

Last week, Lopez took to the stage for another night of her It's My Party tour wearing a full-length, gold fox-fur coat. Custom-made by Fur Salon of Saks Fifth Avenue, it cost a reported $27,500 and is finished with a train and oversized collar that doubles as a hood.

This choice of stage outfit is rather peculiar because not only is it mid-summer in America, but the country is in the grip of a heat wave. While 35°C-plus degrees may hardly be deemed hot in this part of the world, it is safe to say it is hardly fur-wearing weather, either.

Performers have specially made costumes for the stage to help create razzmatazz but, most importantly, because all that dancing and singing is physically demanding on the body and clothes. Lopez is known for giving her all on stage, and her wardrobe is built accordingly.

Each item will have reinforced seams, be made of technical fabrics that stretch and move with the body, and be built to be washed after every performance.

Fur, meanwhile, is fabulous at keeping out snow, sleet and sub-zero conditions (and I know, I used to be married to a Swede) but is hard to dance in, tends to shed and would be none too happy after a spin in a washing machine.

Even if worn for just a few moments on stage, the residue of makeup and perspiration would quickly build up, matting the pelt and providing a smorgasbord for bacteria and carpet mites (the tiny critters that give old fur its distinctive musty smell). If Lopez wanted to wear her fur for every performance, and avoid smelling like a secondhand store, she would need two coats, at a cool $55,000.

It takes up to 20 foxes to make one fur coat, more for the train and hood. Multiply that by two and that is somewhere close to 50 animal skins Lopez is possibly wearing. With increasing numbers of major name designers ditching fur for being cruel and unethical, including Armani, Versace, Chanel and Gucci, Lopez's insistence on clinging to fur shows her to be out of step with the current mood towards sustainability and environmental concerns.

A habitual fur wearer, she seems more concerned about looking rich than being relevant.

For her birthday, Versace custom-made her bespoke sneakers, based on the plunging jungle print dress she wore in 2000 to the Grammys, and that secured her status as Famous with a capital F. Clearly she is adored among the fashion pack, as much as she is worshipped by her legions of fans.

Yet for all this love, no one seems fazed that good ol' Jenny from the block is happy to ruin a $27,500 fur coat.

As animal rights group Lynx once so succinctly put it, "It takes 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat, but only one to wear it".


Read more:

Prada is the latest fashion house to go fur free

Selfridges to ban sale of exotic animal skins

Victoria Beckham joins Chanel in banning the use of exotic skins