On Thursday 7 September, Peta supporters, in addition to “two other animal advocates,” showed up to the Coach fashion show, which was taking place at the main branch of the New York Public Library. According to a press release the organisation put out, their goal was “to slam the brand for its cruelty to cows and its reliance on environmentally destructive leather products”.
Although neither the singer nor the Vogue editor-in-chief mentioned the protestors, Lopez shared what appeared to be a video of their reactions to the moment on her Instagram page on Thursday. In the video, she made a Devil Wears Prada reference, posting a video of herself and Wintour in the front row of the show with the audio of Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly from the film telling Anne Hathaway’s character: “Oh, don’t be ridiculous, Andrea, everybody wants this. Everybody wants to be us.”
In the clip, the two are seen staring at the camera filming them and laughing. “Meta moment… lol… COACH NYFW @StuartVevers @voguemagazine #AnnaWintour,” Lopez captioned the post.
One animal rights protestor walked the runway covered in body paint with the words: “Coach leather kills” written across her chest. Peta described the artwork on the woman’s body as “revealing flesh, tendons, and muscle” and meant to symbolise what is done to a cow when their skin is stripped for leather goods.
There was also another protestor walking directly behind the first one, holding a sign with the same “Coach leather kills” phrase written on it. The sign also had the Peta logo on the bottom.
“Today’s conscientious consumers know that the future of fashion lies in innovative vegan materials, not in cows’ sliced-off skin,” Peta executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in the press release of the protest. “Peta is shaking up Coach’s catwalk to drive home the message that leather belongs in the annals of history, not in designers’ current collections.”
A video of the protest was posted by New York Magazine’s The Cuton Instagram, where viewers condemned the way one protestor was removed from the venue. One user said: “The person that grabbed her needs to evaluate themselves. Grabbing anyone like that when they are clearly of no physical threat to anyone is completely uncalled for. It’s a f****** fashion show, calm down. I’m a huge fan of haute couture and fashion but gripping somebody up like that is ridiculous.”
Another user commented: “I mean she done already made it to the end of the runway why tackle her like that?!”
While Peta has not commented on how the protester was handled, the organisation wrote under the post: “We’ll bring it to the runway as long as brands like Coach keep profiting off cruelty to cows & other animals who are killed for leather.”