Style & Then Some

Mahiki bans fur. Setting a good example or overstepping the mark?

Last week, Mahiki, the London nightclub known for being frequented by various Royals, their plus ones, and other notable posh people, held an event to launch its new no fur policy. Denoted with a big neon ‘no fur allowed’ sign, the policy doesn’t just mean they won’t use real animal fur in the furnishings (FURnishings, lol) it means customers aren’t allowed to wear the fluffy stuff if they want to be let in.

Mahiki nightclub London Mahiki Mayfair club inside interior 2014 images photo

Inside Mahiki

The ban was requested by animal rights activists PETA and supported by Meg Matthews (Noel Gallagher’s former wife, who is the ‘celebrity liaison’ for PETA). Says PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi: “In 2014, everyone knows that wearing the fur of tortured animals is a serious fashion faux pas, so anyone still clinging to those ugly furs better be ready to be left out in the cold.”

“Mahiki’s all about having a good time, but it recognises that there’s nothing fun about fur,” Matthews says. “All the guests at the party proved that you can have a killer look without having to kill any animals.”

Those celebrity guests? That’ll be Made in Chelsea star Lucy Watson, Big Brother winner Georgina Rio and noughties one hit wonder Sonique. (I had only heard of the latter and had to google the others.)

Now, I have an issue with this for two reasons. No, not the seriously uncelebrated guests, the fur-free policy. First of all, according to a lengthy Vogue article I read last year, the fur industry isn’t anywhere near as cruel as it used to be, because it’s become much more stringently regulated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s not perfect, but journalist Emily Sheffield investigated fur farms in detail and concluded that, a bit like meat production, wild fur is better than farmed.

The other reason is that I wear fur. But only vintage fur. I have two fur coats, one brown (rabbits) and one black (unknown). They look good and, more importantly, they are incredibly warm. I wouldn’t buy new fur, because I wouldn’t want to risk getting it from an unreputable source (and like I’m ever gonna be able to afford it anyway) but I don’t see a problem in reusing a coat that was made at least 20 years ago that would otherwise go to waste, especially when 350,000 tonnes of clothes go to landfill every year.

rabbit fur coat brown fur coat vintage fur coat images photos 2013 2014

Me (on the right) in my vintage rabbit fur coat

But what if people see you looking so amazingly stylish in your fur that they think ‘OMG I need to buy me some fur’ I hear you ask. Well, obviously, I do look spectacular (please note sarcasm) but I don’t think mine, or any other regular folks’ wearing of fur has sparked a surge in sales. For regular fur wearer Kate Moss (who is pals with Meg Matthews as it happens) this might be an issue, but I don’t see why I, or any other nightclub patron (at Mahiki or anywhere else), should be limited in our garments, particularly when queuing outside nightclubs in winter is the one time when, as a city dweller, having a fantastically well-insulated fur coat wrapped round you is most appealing. Plus, how are they going know whether a coat is real or faux fur? Will they be giving bouncers fur detection training? Maybe I’ll rock up there in my fur and see if I can get through, investigative journalist style.

This ban seems to me like a case of PETA and Mahiki attempting to impose their beliefs on others, and I for one hope other clubs don’t follow suit. Thing is, I’ve been to Mahiki, and it’s an overrated tiki bar that serves overpriced drinks to overpaid morons. Seriously, they have drinks that cost £1200. So for me, the fur ban is just one more reason not to go to that godforsaken place.

What do you reckon? Do you applaud Mahiki’s new anti-fur stance, or do you think it’s a step too far? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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This entry was posted on March 5, 2014 by in Style and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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