Crawford poised to spark furore by starring in fur ads

LONDON - Cindy Crawford, the model famed for her big hair, big smile and big mole, looks set to cause a big controversy after signing a deal to appear in a fur coat campaign, despite once proclaiming 'I'd rather go naked than wear fur'.

According to a report on Vogue.com, Crawford is to advertise American fur label Blackglama, following in the footsteps of stars such as Lauren Bacall and Bette Davis.

Animal rights group Peta is likely to kick up a storm on hearing the news, as Crawford once posed with fellow models Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Elle Macpherson and Christy Turlington in the famous 1994 "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign.

Edward Brennan, the chief executive of American Legend, which markets the Blackglama brand, said Crawford only appeared in the Peta campaign by mistake because she had posed in a fake fur hat for the designer Todd Oldham.

Brennan told the fashion title Women's Wear Daily that the photographer was an animal rights activist and the Peta logo had been added to the picture afterwards.

In the past, Crawford's agent Annett Wolf has also said the model never agreed to appear in Peta's anti-fur campaign. When similar controversy arose after Crawford wore a fur coat in a catwalk show, Wolf said: "When she is asked to model something -- she does. That is her job. She has been really nice about the Peta ad but it's just not her thing."

Crawford is not the first model to swap her principles for a fur coat. Campbell has also worn fur after appearing in the 1994 ad.

The controversy comes as Vogue plans to run a six-page "Fur ever" ad campaign for the International Fur Trade Federation in its September editions across the world.

Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue's US edition, is a frequent target of Peta's anti-fur protesters. Peta has devised a campaign with the slogan "Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people" and featuring a picture of Wintour pulling an unfortunate expression.

Blackglama is famous for its long-running "What becomes a legend the most?" campaign and has signed up some of the world's most famous women, and a handful of men, to appear in print ads.

Gisele Bundchen starred in the most recent campaign, while previous legends to appear include Audrey Hepburn, Ethel Merman and Ray Charles.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

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