PETA defends Kylie Jenner’s polarizing lion head dress

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Relax folks, it’s faux.

While Kylie Jenner’s wild look for Monday’s Schiaparelli Haute Couture show — a black velvet gown topped with a giant, lifelike lion head — might’ve seemed to be PETA’s worst nightmare at first glance, the animal rights organization is totally on board.

In a statement shared with Page Six Style, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk hailed the Schiaparelli collection’s “three-dimensional animal heads,” none of which incorporated real fur or leather, as “fabulously innovative.”

“Kylie, Naomi and Irina’s looks celebrate the beauty of wild animals and may be a statement against trophy hunting, in which lions and wolves are torn apart to satisfy human egotism,” Newkirk said.

Kylie Jenner took a walk on the wild side at the Schiaparelli Haute Couture show Monday.

Kylie Jenner wearing a lion head dress
Kylie Jenner took a walk on the wild side at the Schiaparelli Haute Couture show Monday.


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In addition to a version of Jenner’s lion-inspired look, Schiaparelli’s spring 2023 couture collection also included outfits with realistic leopard and wolf heads modeled by Shalom Harlow and Naomi Campbell, respectively — a nod to the three beasts in Dante’s “Inferno.”

“We encourage everyone to stick with 100% cruelty-free designs that showcase human ingenuity and prevent animal suffering,” Newkirk concluded, urging Jenner and her fellow stars to “extend this creativity to exclude sheep shorn bloody for wool and silkworms boiled alive in their cocoons.”

Irina Shayk wearing a lion head dress
Schiaparelli’s spring 2023 couture show included three looks featuring the lifelike animal heads, which were modeled by Irina Shayk, Naomi Campbell and Shalom Harlow.

Naomi Campbell wearing a wolf head coat
Schiaparelli’s spring 2023 couture show included three looks featuring the lifelike animal heads, which were modeled by Irina Shayk, Naomi Campbell and Shalom Harlow.


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Shalom Harlow wearing a leopard dress
Schiaparelli’s spring 2023 couture show included three looks featuring the lifelike animal heads, which were modeled by Irina Shayk, Naomi Campbell and Shalom Harlow.


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While Jenner, 25, made sure to specify that the lion head was “faux” and “manmade” in her Instagram post showing off the outfit, that didn’t stop commenters from criticizing the couture creation en masse.

“Animals are not trophies,” one wrote, while another added, “As an African I’m extremely offended. The implication is quite disturbing.”

Others described the ensemble as “a scary sight,” “terrible,” “ridiculous” and “wrong wrong wrong.”

Kylie Jenner wearing a lion head dress
Schiaparelli said the animal heads were made from “hand-sculpted foam [and] wool and silk faux fur, and hand painted to look as life-like as possible, celebrating the glory of the natural world.”

Naomi Campbell wearing a wolf head coat
Schiaparelli said the animal heads were made from “hand-sculpted foam [and] wool and silk faux fur, and hand painted to look as life-like as possible, celebrating the glory of the natural world.”


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Irina Shayk wearing a lion head dress
Schiaparelli said the animal heads were made from “hand-sculpted foam [and] wool and silk faux fur, and hand painted to look as life-like as possible, celebrating the glory of the natural world.”


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In a pair of Instagram posts on the fashion house’s account, Schiaparelli defended its designs amid the uproar, noting that the animal heads featured in the show were crafted from “hand-sculpted foam [and] wool and silk faux fur, and hand painted to look as life-like as possible, celebrating the glory of the natural world.”

Both captions ended with the same all-caps disclaimer: “NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN MAKING THIS LOOK.”

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