Beyonce's new animal-skin trainers slammed by Peta

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
27 February 2013

Beyonce's new custom trainers sent a ripple of shock around the internet, showcasing a bewildering array of animal skins from anaconda to ostrich.

It's the second time she's been slammed for wearing items made from animal skin in the name of fashion, after helping to design her iguana, cow and python skin costume for the US Superbowl.

And there are concerns that, with fur a huge trend on the catwalk during this season's London Fashion Week, animal product fashion is back from the dead.

The 'King-Bey' shoes, made by PMK (Perfectly Made Kicks) to Beyonce's instructions, used products from anaconda, stingray, crocodile, calf and ostrich.

[Related: Anne Hathaway demanded vegan shoes for Les Mis]

And they're not the first order from the Carter family. Beyonce's husband Jay-Z also had custom-made trainers that included alligator and boa skin among others.

In a statement animal rights charity Peta slammed Beyonce's choice of footwear.

"These custom-made kicks come with a high price – and it's paid by the various animals who were beaten and skinned alive or cruelly farmed and killed," Peta said.

"Although most people aren't as familiar with the types of animals (snakes, stingrays, crocodiles and ostriches) killed for this single pair of "fun fashion" sneakers as they are with the cats and dogs we share our homes with, these animals are highly sensitive living beings who try hard to avoid capture and suffer enormously when trapped, netted, speared and skinned alive."

[Related: Peta's controversial anti-meat poster]

Peta has suggested that the future of fashion is fur free but signs from the fashion scene make us wonder if that's really the case.

At London Fashion Week, fur came out as one of the biggest trends. And while many designers opted for faux-fur options, often in bright colours, it became difficult at times to decide what was real and what was fake.

We asked Peta if it's concerned.

"The idea that fur is springing into fashion again is a false one, and although the fur trade has tried to sell this line for more than a decade now, it just doesn't translate into what people wear," a representative told us.

"You may see more fur on the catwalk, but that does not reflect what people are wearing in real life. In a  recent survey, 95 per cent of British women said they wouldn't be caught dead in real fur.

"Stylish celebrities, including Eva Mendes, Natalie Portman, Kelly Osborne, Penélope Cruz and countless more, openly abhor the cruelty of the fur industry.

"This week, Olivia Munn narrated PETA US's hard-hitting new video, which she describes as 'one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever seen. It's almost impossible to watch, but it's a must-see for anyone who has ever been tempted to wear fur."

Do you think Bey's choice of footwear is setting a bad example? Tell us what you think on Twitter.

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