True fashionistas know only the latest and most rareified trends will do. Many of them might have choked on their foie gras to order a pair of warrior-princess $1,495 Manolo Blahnik Cava Fur-Trim OTK Boots described on Neiman Marcus’ Web site as accented with “natural ocelot fur.”
However, the ocelot is an officially endangered species and protected under the Endangered Species Act. Not a good or likely choice for Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus.
The boots were quickly pulled from the site pending an investigation into the true identity of the fur, after the Humane Society of the U.S. requested one from the Federal Trade Commission.
Ginger Reeder, a spokewoman for Neiman Marcus, said that the situation boils down to an inaccurate description of what the material actually is – ocelot-printed goat fur.
All the same, the Humane Society believes the retailer could be liable for false advertising. “Cava,” another mystery fur mentioned in the ad, does not actually exist.
"Neiman Marcus is apparently once again misrepresenting the type of fur it is selling -- in this case as 'cava' and 'ocelot' fur," said Pierre Grzybowski, manager of The HSUS' fur-free campaign. "This is likely just another in the ever-growing list of misrepresentations of animal fur by Neiman Marcus. This deserves a thorough investigation, and if Neiman Marcus is found to have violated the Fur Products Labeling Act, it needs to be held accountable for deceiving the public," he added.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.