‘Project Runway’ host Tim Gunn backs City Council fur ban

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A prominent fashionista and television personality will testify in support of a fur ban proposed by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, The Post has learned.

Tim Gunn, who hosted the hit reality TV show “Project Runway” for 16 years, will throw his weight behind Johnson’s anti-fur bill at a City Hall hearing on Wednesday.

Gunn says the fashion industry has “evolved” beyond killing foxes, chinchillas and other living creatures for clothing — and that “now it’s time to safeguard all the other animals from such gratuitous violence by supporting … Johnson’s bill … as lawmakers have already done in Los Angeles and San Francisco,” according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by The Post.

He will invoke a slew of designers — including Project Runway” cohort Michael Kors, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri and Versace president Donatella Versace — who have all sworn off fur.

“Designers are finding it increasingly easy to be creative without being destructive,” Gunn is expected to testify.

“Hundreds of fabrics have been developed that are more eco-friendly and animal friendly. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, and Chanel have enacted fur-free policies, as have dozens of mass-market brands like H&M, Zara, Gap, Nine West, and The North Face.”

Gunn, a former chairman of fashion design at Parsons School of Design, also recalled that “student interest in the fur program [there] dried up as quickly as enthusiasm for sustainable design increased.”

“Consumer demand for fur has plummeted. According to the treasurer of Greater Fur New York, just 14 retail storefronts selling fur remained in the garment district in 2018—down from 450 in 1977. This year, there are even fewer,” he added.

The bill, introduced by Johnson in March, would ban the sale of fur apparel in the city unless it is to be used for religious customs. Violators would be slammed with fines of up to $500 for a first offense and up to $1,500 for additional offenses.

Gunn is joining other celebs in supporting it. Among them are British rock icon and vegan Morrissey, who wrote a letter to Johnson last week praising the bill.

Animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is also throwing its weight behind of Johnson’s plan.

The legislation is also expected to draw plenty of opposition, however, during a Wednesday hearing before the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing.

Just last week, more than 150 black faith leaders gathered outside City Hall to rally against the bill, saying it’s discriminatory to their communities.

“Fur has always been a part of the African-American culture and part of the church, not just as a source of status, but as a source of pride,” said Rev. Johnnie Green of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. “Buying and wearing fur let us understand that we could rise above poverty and oppression and live the American dream.”

Johnson, who represents the Garment District, responded to the criticism last week by saying he stands by his “fundamental belief that killing animals to create a luxury item” is wrong.

“I think there is still education that needs to be done, and I look forward to engaging in the conversations,” he said.



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