Customers who bought fake fur items from luxury retailer Nieman Marcus and two online retailers may have accidentally bought real fur that was mislabeled. According to CNNMoney on March 20, the retailers settled a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission by admitting they labeled their products improperly and agreed to pay a fine.
The “fake” stuff, which appeared as trim on certain shoes and coats at Nieman Marcus, was actually rabbit, racoon, and mink. The retailer admitted also to misrepresenting rabbit fur as mink on other items, and to not disclosing country of origin of three real fur products, which are actions required by a 1951 law known as the Fur Products Labeling Act. The law is supposed to keep retailers from selling products at premium prices that are merely inferior furs, like dog and rabbit, in disguise.
The other two companies involved in the complaint were Dr. Jays and Revolve Clothing. Dr. Jays responded that the error was a “typo” on their website.
The actual fines paid by the companies were not disclosed, but further misrepresentations of fur content will reportedly bring a fine of $16,000 per violation over the next 20 years.
Reasons for the misrepresentations are unclear, although the recently-growing demand for fake fur has reportedly been outstripping manufacturer capacity.