Beyoncé may be one of the top-selling performers of our time but her latest move isn’t likely to win her points with animal lovers. According to a blog post by Perfectly Made Kicks on Monday, the “Crazy in Love” singer “summoned” the footwear design house to customize a pair of Isabel Marant sneakers—dubbed the “King Bey”—using an array of exotic animal skins, including calf hair, anaconda, stingray, crocodile, and ostrich. Inspired by Beyoncé’s “sweet and fierce persona,” PMK plied the multi-textured wedges with white-on-white tones, gold-stitched details, and a “hybrid of land and sea skins” it provocatively refers to as the “Eden treatment.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as you can imagine, isn’t a fan of the result. The animal-rights group has since decried the “high price” paid by the various animals used in the shoes’ construction.
PETA has decried the “high price” paid by the various animals used in the shoes’ construction.
“Although most people aren’t as familiar with the types of animals (snakes, stingrays, crocodiles, and ostriches) killed for this single pair of 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,” a spokesperson said on Wednesday. “We hope that Beyoncé will choose to wear more clothes from her own clothing line, which features faux fur, and that one day, she’ll go completely cruelty-free.”
This isn’t the first time PMK accepted a commission from a member of the Carter family. Just last year it created a special-edition “Nike Air Force 1” design for Beyoncé’s husband, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. The shoe was named the “Brooklyn Zoo” for the sheer number of species it required, including elephant, ostrich, boa constrictor, crocodile, python, calf, lizard, alligator, and stingray.
Update: Feb. 28, 2013
In a statement to Life & Style, PMK CEO, Andre Scott, said that “no animals were beaten, harmed, or killed in the development and crafting of the ‘King Bey’ sneaker.” He added: “The exotic skins used to construct the ‘King Bey’ sneaker were at the sole direction of PMK and are not in association with any decisions, requests, or opinions of Beyoncé and her affiliated parties. All leather and exotic skins used by PMK are from a legal supplier in New York.”
Update: March 5, 2013
PETA responded by sending a Scott a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the company stop issuing false and misleading statements to customers or face legal action. “The company started marketing the shoes on its website, and, incredibly, told consumers that “no animals were beaten, harmed, or killed” for the shoes,” wrote Michelle Kretzer on the group’s blog. “I think the five different species of animals who were most certainly beaten, harmed, and killed for the shoes would beg to differ.”
[Via the Daily Mail]