Dear Edward, it's over: an open letter to British Vogue

January 16, 2018

Dear Edward,

 

I respect you greatly, and I respect Vogue too. The magazine means a lot to me: in 2016 I was honoured to be one of nine writers shortlisted for your Young Talent Award, and Vogue has always been the first volume I turn to in search of culture and style. But this month, I tore out a page. Not for inspiration, not for a design board, but because it distressed me to see it. And now I have seen it, it is with sadness that I’ve chosen to cancel my subscription. 

 

 

 

A glossy, full page front-of-book advert, literally promoting the British fur industry? I certainly care about buying British, but not at this price. Fur, for me, comes at too great a cost. Perhaps you feel there should be no restrictions on designers and their materials, or magazines should offer no moral judgements that might curtail creativity.

 

Yet fashion choices are often - perhaps always - interlaced with ethics. We would not accept a designer’s right to judge consumers by body size. We would not promote a beauty brand who chose to only offer caucasian tone foundations. In situations like these, I’d wager you would be unafraid to judge the narrowness of their vision, and I am likewise unafraid to judge the fur industry.

 

To me, and to the vast majority of young fashion fans, real fur (however high quality) is an unnecessary evil. The animals used for fur are either processed from birth or caught from the wild in North America and Russia, killed simply to provide a look that can be achieved with style and substance elsewhere (Shrimps, to name but one?!) At its core, I believe creativity has to be about harnessing the power in our hands to create the world we want to live in. Fur does not feature in mine.

 

I admire how you use the voice you have as editor to express your opinions. And I will use my own voice too. Make the most of my young talent. So for now, we must part ways. When the magazine under your leadership becomes a space for truly modern thinking, with the courage and compassion to match, I look forward to returning. 

 

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