New ODLR Target: GF Capital

Oscar de la Renta Campaign Update:

Oscar de la Renta would like you to believe that change is taking place.

For decades, ODLR has taken a strong pro-fur stance in the face of protests on the runway and pies in the face. But suddenly, after just a little bit of attention from CAFTivists, they have removed all of the fur from their website.

What does this mean? Who the hell knows? But one thing hasn’t changed:

ODLR still refuses to make a commitment regarding their future with fur. No plan. No policy. No dates. Nothing. They refuse to even acknowledge the question.

And if they believe that a non-committal website edit will trick activists into abandoning the animals, clearly they have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

ODLR has been playing the victim since this campaign began. Now, they are playing games with animals’ lives. Here at CAFT, we don’t play. It’s time to show them how serious we are.

So CAFT will be hitting them where it hurts: their finances.

New Target: GF Capital

GF Capital Management & Advisors LLC is Oscar de la Renta’s lead institutional investor. They own 20% of ODLR. Their CEO, Gary Fuhrman, is on the board of ODLR. And as financiers of fur, they are now in the same mess as ODLR.

Headquartered in New York City, GF Capital focuses on investments in fashion/design, sports/entertainment, and real estate. Their companies have locations and stakeholders in cities across the country, all of which would love to get a friendly visit from local activists.

And it’s already started. On July 24, activists in Houston did a peaceful home demonstration at the residence of GF Capital’s Managing Director for Real Estate, James Taussig. And after warning the public about the animal abuser in their neighborhood, they came back the same evening during a party James was throwing, to inform his guests. Meanwhile, activists in Los Angeles paid a visit to the Melrose Place location of Jonathan Adler, a luxury furniture store chain owned by GF Capital. With bullhorns blaring and police helicopters overhead, they made sure that their impact would travel all the way up to the GF top brass.

It may feel strange or uncomfortable to protest at a furniture store owned by a finance company, or at a bridal shop holding an ODLR trunk show – but the fact that these entities have no vested interest in ODLR’s fur makes the protest that much more impactful, ramping up the pressure on GF Capital and ODLR.

Secondary targeting works. ODLR will learn that as long as they sell fur, everything they touch will be tainted by that decision. And the longer they hold out, the more creative we will become at turning them into an industry pariah.

We can’t help but wonder how GF Capital and their investments feel about being held to account for animal cruelty, simply because ODLR pridefully refuses to join the rest of the world and go fur free. We may never find out, but we can be sure of one thing: the executives at ODLR will be hearing a lot about it.

And GF Capital is just the first. Since ODLR likes games so much, we can’t wait to show them all the fun we have lined up for them. The message for the rest of the world is clear: deal with Oscar, deal with us.

July 5-11: Week of Action Against Oscar de la Renta and Saint Laurent

CAFT is today announcing international campaigns against Oscar de la Renta and Saint Laurent, beginning with a week of action from July 5th to 11th.

What makes a good campaign target? A target that is winnable, that is well-suited to build upon for future victories. And together we will win against Oscar de la Renta and Saint Laurent.

We will ultimately beat every designer with proper strategy and timing. But when it comes to building a movement across the Atlantic right now, Saint Laurent is the best target for many reasons. And here at home, Oscar de la Renta is foolish if it does not announce a fur-free policy simply from seeing this press release.

Oscar de la Renta in particular has a storied animal rights history, with runway disruptions stretching back to the 1990s. Oscar, we invite you to contact us – but if not, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

At CAFT, we have only one goal: saving animals’ lives. That means we are singularly focused on maximum destruction against the fur industry. Not what is sexiest for social media. Not what feels good. Only winning – and that alone. Social media follows success. And the best feeling is victory.

Our model for success has proven itself. One aspect of this model is the use of short-term targets to energize more difficult campaigns. Oscar de la Renta represents the remnants of a dying industry in the United States, an industry that we will purge from this continent. And Saint Laurent represents a new era of hard-hitting anti-fur activism against European designers.

Next week, it’s time for the fur industry to learn a lesson. We never miss a beat. We strike with precision. And their days are numbered.

Let’s show Oscar de la Renta and Saint Laurent how the modern animal rights movement deals with fur.

Victory: Alice + Olivia Gives up on Fur After 11 Days

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Yesterday, Alice + Olivia contacted the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade to say that they are going fur-free. After 18 actions and 11 days, we win.

In fact, A+O pulled all fur from its stores and website in the first week of our campaign, but refused to officially go fur free until today.

Stacey has bragged about using fur without remorse for years. An actual billionaire with unlimited resources to fight us. And it took her two weeks to decide that giving up part of her business was a better option than dealing with us.

And this is only the beginning.

A strategy for success
We were ready to take on Alice + Olivia’s executives, board members, investors, their other companies, even charities on the boards of which they sat. And we were ready to further diversify our tactics, within the bounds of the law. But we achieved success by focusing on A+O storefronts alone. The victory was thus the result of aspects of our strategy built into its architecture from the first day:

Coordinated national action
The animal rights movement is strongest when we work together. Our opponents are national and international. By choosing a common target and making it a focus for every city, we win. This victory was made possible by independent local groups in Chicago, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, Connecticut, Los Angeles, and Orange County.

Forceful and tactically diverse action
Alice + Olivia experienced 18 actions in 11 days. And we know of at least six more that were planned prior to our week of action against fur on February 7. Tactics ranged from a day of phone calls to chalking to disruptions to demonstrations to a special alarm-based action from a lone rabbit. One independent street art activist made “Wanted” posters of Stacey Bendet, but this victory came too quickly for them to put them up around her city. While we may not be able to maintain this pace with longer-term targets, the important take-away is that Alice + Olivia was under a state of siege. On Monday mornings, management’s email inboxes were full of reports from stores in different cities about “the activists.”

Results-based campaigning
We began as a few people with a theory. With results-based campaigning – winnable goals and smart strategy to achieve them – we build our movement and build momentum for future victories. Let’s break down these two goals to see if the theory holds up.

Building our movement
The Monique Lhuillier campaign began with only a few cities. After that victory, over a dozen cities were ready to take action. And our structure – total autonomy for local groups with our full backing and support – empowers local activists and ensures a diversity of tactics as we move into the future.

Building momentum for future victories
We beat Monique Lhuillier in 14 days. And after seeing what we achieved, Stacey Bendet – a designer with almost twenty times as many stores as Monique – went fur free in 11. Now, our reputation precedes us as we move to larger designers and retailers.

Onto the next
We will not achieve animal liberation with wishful thinking and positive intentions. We will achieve it by using incremental victories as stepping stones. We are knocking down the fur industry brick by brick, and together we will watch it crumble. Join us and make history.

Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade – United States

New Campaign: Alice + Olivia is America’s top anti-fur target.

Alice + Olivia is a well-known name in women’s fashion. It is sold in nearly a thousand stores, and has 56 of its own boutiques worldwide. It is also one of the only American retailers that sells clothing made from the fur of tortured animals. Its founder and designer, the notoriously unstable Stacey Bendet, is a dietary vegan who says she knows that wearing fur is wrong, but just doesn’t care.

And Alice + Olivia is also going to be the next American retailer to drop fur, whether Stacey knows it or not.

That is because Alice + Olivia is now marked as the top target of anti-fur activism. So as long as we all work together, there is no question whether we will win. The only question is how quickly. And the answer depends on how frequently and how forcefully we act – as well as our geographic distribution. We must fight on as many fronts as possible.

We beat Monique Lhuillier in fourteen days. With that momentum, we are now moving onto this larger company. And once we beat Stacey Bendet, we will move onto the next, larger designer. There are only a few left before we totally end the sale of fur by large American retailers.

We held our campaign kickoff today at A+O’s Los Angeles flagship store on Melrose. Twenty activists stormed the store, speaking up for the animals via our megaphones, and calling attention to our message via airhorns. The single employee present refused to speak to us, and disappearing into the back of the store.

We announced the launch of a national campaign against Alice + Olivia, and let the employee know that as long as Stacey Bendet sells fur in her collection, we will be outside of every store to speak up for the animals that are murdered on fur farms.

We had not been asked to leave, but voluntarily moved outside after five minutes or so. And our demonstration did not last even thirty minutes more, before the lights in the store were turned off, the doors were locked, and the employee went home.

As a result of our short protest, Alice + Olivia closed a full hour and a half early. There is no doubt as to the fact that they are not prepared to deal with the strong voices of the modern animal rights movement.

We will win. History shows that we will win. Our strategy is smart, innovative, and shown to work. Our architecture, one of total autonomy for grassroots organizations, ensures a diversity of creative tactics. Our passion and dedication can match all the money in the world. Our campaign is prepared for attrition, with plans representing multiple methods of escalation. The last ingredient is you.

Stand with us. We will never tell you what to do – and we will always help you in whatever way you need. And we promise you one thing: if you take action against Alice + Olivia, you will see results, and know that you were part of achieving them. This is how we dismantle the fur trade on this continent. Come make history with us.

Week of Action Against the Fur Trade

The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade is excited to announce its first national week of action against fur.

From February 7 to 15th, cities around the continent will be fighting back for the victims of the fur industry.

The grassroots of our movement is at its strongest when we work together to exert concerted pressure on the corporations that perpetrate violence against animals. These companies are national and transnational – and we must be too.

On Friday, January 15, we will announce our next campaign against an American designer. We think that this week of action will help them understand that continuing to use fur in 2021 means that their business will now exist in a constant state of siege. We will also be focusing on Saks Fifth Avenue, in support of that longer-term campaign’s escalation. Let’s show these two businesses some extra special Valentine’s Day attention.

Monique Lhuillier capitulated to our last campaign after actions in two cities. Let’s see if the next designer can stand the heat when activists swarm stores all over the country.

Every local group is invited and implored to participate. We have no rules, no barriers to entry, and no authority over your actions. If you want help, simply contact us, and we will be there to assist every step of the way.

We ask only that you bring your passion and dedication – and send us an action report with pictures when you’re done. This ensures that the top executives of these companies will hear about even the smallest protests in the smallest corner of the country. And it inspires others to get active. When we all work together at the same time against the same companies, even one person holding a sign in front of a store is able to make a real difference.

The fur industry is at an all-time low: the last North American fur auction house is bankrupt, the world’s largest fur auction house is closing, the world’s top mink-producing country has ended mink farming, and Covid continues to ravage mink farms and retail clothing sales worldwide. The animals suffering on fur farms need you now. This is the time to strike, and strike hard.

Victory! Monique Lhuillier goes fur free.

After fourteen days and four actions, Monique Lhuillier has conceded.

On November 27, CAFT USA launched the Monique Lhuillier Cruelty Campaign. On December 10, Monique Lhuillier, Inc., contacted PETA to announce that they were going fur free.

The campaign consisted of the following actions:
• a kickoff protest at the Monique Lhuillier flagship store in West Hollywood
• five minutes of chalking at the store
• a protest at JJ Kelly Bridal, an Oklahoma City store holding a trunk show of Monique’s bridal collection
• a phone action encouraging people to call JJ Kelly Bridal during the protest

Much, much more was planned. But in two weeks, we won a victory for animals on fur farms.

Lessons from the Campaign
Secondary targeting works
The deciding factor in Monique’s concession was the protest and phone action against JJ Kelly Bridal. Trunk shows are a vital part of Monique’s business strategy. And due to the protest, this store locked their doors, on a Saturday during a publicly advertised event.

This single protest at a Midwestern shop with no fur was worth five at her flagship in West Hollywood. It went beyond the symbolic, to threaten her business interests.

We had further secondary targets lined up – bridal stores around the country, and a friendly national furniture chain (including planned protests at the houses of the corporate officers and directors of that chain). But Monique caved immediately upon realizing our strategy: campaigning against her business partners and making her company into an untouchable industry pariah.

Does it sound strange or uncomfortable to protest at a bridal store? Does it feel more sentimental and satisfying to protest at a store that actually has fur inside? Our answer is: it doesn’t matter. The animals are suffering right now. They do not care what feels good. They care what works.

And secondary targeting works.

Concrete goals for concrete results
This was a results-based campaign, with a specific, measurable, winnable goal. We did not have to guess at whether our actions were succeeding in changing something: we know they did.

People like winning. When we define victory and then achieve it, this builds our movement. It builds momentum to move onto bigger victories. And it prevents burnout.

Concrete successes can be a vital part of reaching our ultimate goal of total liberation.

Work smarter, not harder
The campaign involved hours upon hours of hard work, preparation, and planning. But we knew that work would have an outsized impact, because we took time to strategize.

We could have randomly protested different fur designers every weekend. We could have protested only outside of Monique’s storefronts. Instead, we sat down, mapped out Monique’s business, and determined what would most affect its bottom line.

We have finite time and resources. Let’s use them wisely.

Onto the Next
Monique Lhuillier is a stepping stone in the broader war on fur. We will build on this victory with another pressure campaign against a larger designer. Meanwhile, we will keep heat on longer-term targets, such as Saks Fifth Avenue. Together, we will dismantle the fur trade.

Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade – United States