Three Retailers Settle with FTC Over Mislabeled “Faux Fur” Items

FTC screen grab of the page on Neiman Marcus.com that contained one of the offending products, a Stuart Weitzman  shoe.

FTC screen grab of the page on Neiman Marcus.com that contained one of the offending products, a Stuart Weitzman shoe.

Washington—Neiman Marcus and two other retailers agreed this week to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misleading consumers over mislabeling faux fur apparel, accessories and footwear.

The FTC said that Neiman Marcus, DrJays.com and Eminent, trading as Revolve Clothing, had violated the FTC Act and the Fur Products Labeling Act–also known as the Fur Act–by falsely claiming that certain products contained “faux fur,” when in fact they contained real fur.

Further violations occurred when the trio failed to name the animal that produced the fur, while Neiman Marcus was also accused of misrepresenting that a rabbit fur product contained mink fur, and of failing to disclose the fur country of origin for three products. Neiman Marcus also allegedly misrepresented that a rabbit fur product had mink fur, and failed to disclose the fur country of origin for three fur products: a Burberry outerwear jacket, a Stuart Weitzman ballerina flat shoe, and an Alice + Olivia Kyah coat.  Neiman Marcus also misrepresented the fur content of the shoe in its catalog, at bergdorfgoodman.com, and in ads mailed to consumers.

DrJays.com allegedly misrepresented the fur content and failed to disclose the animal name for three products:  a Snorkel jacket by Crown Holder with a fur-lined hood, a fur/leather vest by Knoles & Carter with exterior fur, and a New York Subway leather bomber jacket by United Face with fur lining.

Eminent Inc., doing business as Revolve Clothing, allegedly misrepresented the fur content and failed to disclose the animal name for four products:  an Australia luxe collective Nordic Angel short boot with a fur-trimmed hood, a Marc Jacobs Runway Roebling coat, a Dakota Xan fur poncho, and an Eryn Brinie belted Faux fur vest.

The FTC has now published for public comment for 30 days orders prohibiting the retailers from violating the Fur Act for the next 20 years. (The public can comment here through April 18).

The agreement carries no financial penalties. However, after the order is final, each violation may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.

The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, which went into effect a year ago, was enacted to close a previous loophole that permitted fur-trimmed garments to go unlabeled if the value was $150 or less. Now all garments, including all accessories classifications (except handbags) must be labeled.

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Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com

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