Parsons kids get schooled.
Can you teach students to love animals? Or at least animal-rights activists? PETA’s hoping so. Before the budding fashionistas of Parsons School of Design created their collections for their May 9 fashion show, they sat through some animal-cruelty reeducation courtesy of PETA VP Dan Mathews. “We smoked a peace pipe with [chair of fashion design] Tim Gunn and agreed not to disrupt the shows if they’d work with us,” says Mathews. Gunn says he’s thrilled; of the resulting pleather and rubber fashions, he enthuses, “There’s a vitality to them, a spiritedness.” The show will be a test-drive for a shift in PETA strategy: Get to the kids early. Mathews says Stella McCartney is helping them with a similar show at London’s Central Saint Martins art college. Kenneth Cole, Oscar de la Renta, and Diane Von Furstenberg are all invited to the Parsons show—and Mathews’s betting they won’t be able to tell the difference between what’s synthetic and what’s skinned. He doubts fur connoisseur Anna Wintour would be fooled though. “She’s one of the strange creatures that can actually smell blood.” But she’s not expected.