French fashion brand Chanel recently hosted its Spring/Summer 2022 Couture show in Paris which has garnered a lot of attention, but not for anything positive.

At the very start of the show, a horse was forced onto the catwalk to do a lap with a model riding them, something that’s sparked outrage amongst animal activists and horse lovers alike.

The reason for the animal’s unnecessary presence in the show? To make things more “exciting.”

“Risk is always exciting, and a fashion show must create excitement,” Sebastian Tellier explained.

A video of the horse trotting down the catwalk was shared on Instagram by Vogue and received a lot of negative feedback. Many people were concerned for the horse’s wellbeing and upset at the forced participation in the spectacle.

 

“don’t use animal in the shows !!!! Soo bad,” one person wrote.  “Honestly. I don’t see the Point in this,” another added.

Others chimed in, saying, “Poor horse must be so stressed out in this setting,” and “Is this checked? What about the animal rights?”

Horses are complex animals that feel stress and fear in uncomfortable situations. Many people misunderstand horses, which can lead them to subject the animals to irresponsible activities – like involvement in a fashion show.

Many of Gabrielle Chanel’s designs were inspired by horses, as she wanted women to have the ability to ride them. Many garments of the time were restrictive and impractical for horseback riding, and her clothing designs helped revolutionize the way women dress today. It seems the Chanel brand wanted to touch back to their equestrian roots by bringing the horse into the show (and featuring models sporting “black eyes,” presumably from being kicked by a horse). But this simply wasn’t the way to do it.

Showing respect and compassion to horses would go a lot longer in honoring the role they played in the Chanel brand and designs, as opposed to using them as an entertainment factor in a show. They could’ve donated to horse rescues or saved horses from slaughter, but instead, Chanel decided to perpetuate the glamorization of horseback riding.

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