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Upscale retailers sold real fur as fake

Neiman Marcus and 2 other retailers settle FTC complaints that they misrepresented the source of fur in garments they sold.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 19, 2013 2:09PM

This post comes from MSN Money contributor Mitch Lipka.


Pedestrians walk past a Neiman Marcus store on March 5, 2009 in Chicago, Ill. (© Scott Olson/Getty Images)You might think a company could get in trouble by selling fake fur and claiming it was real. But upscale Neiman Marcus and two other retailers are in hot water for misleading consumers about their claims about furry clothing they sold -- using real fur when they claimed they were selling fake.


In case you've ever wondered how the "faux fur" on your clothing might have felt so real, now you've got a possible explanation.


Federal law requires retailers to disclose the types of animals, and where they are from, in products made with furs. But, instead, the Federal Trade Commission said today, Neiman Marcus (and its site) as well as and Revolve Clothing claimed their products were made with "faux fur" rather than acknowledging it was from real animals. Also, Neiman Marcus allegedly claimed a shoe that used rabbit fur was really mink, the FTC said.


And we're not talking about nickel-and-dime items here. One of the garments in question -- a Burberry jacket -- was selling for $1,295, and that's with the claim that the fur on the hood was fake. Other items named in the FTC complaint (.pdf file): a Stuart Weitzman ballerina flat shoe, and an Alice + Olivia Kyah coat.


A Crown Holder jacket, a Knoles & Carter "fur/leather" vest and a United Face bomber jacket were among the products sold by, the FTC said.


Revolve Clothing neglected to mention which animal's fur was used in these products: an Australia Luxe Collective Nordic Angel short boot with fur trim, a Mark Jacobs Runway Roebling coat, a Dakota Xan fur poncho, and an Eryn Brinie belted faux fur vest.

So, what was the punishment for these transgressions? Essentially, something akin to probation.


The companies all settled their cases with the feds and agreed to not violate the federal Fur Act and fur rules for the next 20 years as well as keep copies of ads and documents regarding fake fur products they sell and make them available to the FTC.


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