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Protestors Raid Italy Fur Boutique

January 15, 1998

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Dripping with red paint and dressed up in fake fur costumes, animal rights protesters raided the Dolce and Gabbana boutique Thursday to protest the use of fur.

Four members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals burst into the shop on fashionable Via della Spiga and placed themselves in the windows.

Police had to drag them out one-by-one while a small group of supporters in the street held up anti-fur signs and shouted ``Death for sale!″

The four, including an American, Dan Mathews, were charged with trespass and released.

Dolce and Gabbana had no immediate comment on the incident.

Mathews said the raid was part of a new campaign dubbed ``international boutique blitz.″ The group chose Dolce and Gabbana for its use of fur in this week’s preview showing of the 1998-1999 menswear collection.

Fur made a big come back for men in the five-day presentations that were scheduled to end with Armani on Thursday evening, appearing not only as a scarf or trimming for a lapel, but also as a jacket or full-length coat.

The anti-fur group has prominent support in the fashion world, with such celebrities as Kim Basinger and Cindy Crawford posing for its ``Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur″ campaign free of charge.

Mathews claimed the group’s pressure on Calvin Klein, including raiding his U.S. headquarters and showing him videos of animal killings, resulted in the designer’s written pledge not to use furs in his collections four years ago.

Calvin Klein showed in Italy for the first time this week. His latest mens collection, presented Wednesday evening in his brand-new European headquarters in downtown Milan, was chock full of elegant suits, spiffy jackets and ultra light overcoats. There was no fur.

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