Animal rights nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came to Kylie Jenner’s defense on Tuesday amid backlash over her gown featuring a realistic lion head during Paris Fashion Week.
Social media users accused Jenner of promoting trophy hunting after she was spotted wearing a striking black Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown with an embroidered lion head attached to her bodice during an event on Monday.
According to the designer’s Instagram page, the animal head was created from “hand sculpted foam, wool and silk faux fur, and hand painted to look as life-like as possible, celebrating the glory of the natural world.” They emphasized, “NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN MAKING THIS LOOK.”
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While online critics chastised Jenner for promoting “animal cruelty” with the animal head design, PETA praised the controversial fashion choice as “fabulously innovative” in a statement to Vanity Fair.
Jenner’s look celebrates “the beauty of wild animals and may be a statement against trophy hunting, in which lions and wolves are torn apart to satisfy human egotism,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told the outlet on Tuesday.
“These fabulously innovative three-dimensional animal heads show that where there’s a will, there’s a way. We encourage everyone to stick with 100% cruelty-free designs that showcase human ingenuity and prevent animal suffering,” the statement read.
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The organization instead urged critics to consider the “real animals who did suffer and die for this fashion show,” urging designers to “extend this creativity to exclude sheep shorn bloody for wool and silkworms boiled alive in their cocoons.”
Jenner shared her look on Instagram Monday, thanking Schiaparelli designer and creative director Daniel Roseberry.
“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. thank you @danielroseberry and @schiaparelli for such a special morning. wow i loved wearing this faux art creation constructed by hand using manmade materials. beautiful beautiful,” she wrote alongside a series of photos.
Naomi Campbell and Irina Shayk donned similar looks to Jenner’s on the runway with life-size animal heads making an appearance.
Shayk also defended the animal head collection on Instagram, telling her followers, “I support these incredible artists who worked tirelessly, with their hands, using wool, silk, and foam, to sculpt this embroidered Lion, and image of Pride, An image that @schiaparelli invokes while exploring themes of strength,” the model wrote in the caption. “I am honored to have been called on as well to lend my art as a woman to this.”
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The dresses were reportedly inspired by Dante’s Inferno.
Fox News’ Caroline Thayer contributed to this report.