French fashion giant Chanel had a royal opening, quite literally, at the Haute Couture Week in Paris on Wednesday with Monégasque princess Charlotte Casiraghi making an entry on horseback. Although the show impressed the fashion world, many animal rights activist were furious that a horse was made to walk the runway.PETA shared the clip of the horse galloping with the princess on the runway on Instagram and wrote: “Tell Chanel that this is NOT chic, it’s animal exploitation.”
Social media was divided on the issue with many calling Charlotte’s entry “spectacular”. The 35-year-old Monaco royal is also the granddaughter of Hollywood legend Grace Kelly. She has been Chanel's brand ambassador since 2020.
In a promotional video for the show, Charlotte said horses and riding were “extremely important, if not instrumental,” in her vision of the brand, CNN reported.
Her horseback entry surprised guests which included actor Margo Robbie, singer Pharell Williams and director Sofia Coppola. The princes rode in on "Kuskus", a dark brown Spanish bay horse wearing riding gear and Chanel couture.
Animal rights activists and many others were not kind to Chanel for using a horse.
PETA's UK Director Elisa Allen said the use of horses was an "absurd and thoughtless gimmick could have ended in disaster", Insider reported.
A clip from the event shows the horse slowly trotting in a room full of people replete with cameras, bright lights and music. Guests started recording the entry on their mobile phones as the horse slowly started to canter before galloping all around the room with a smiling Charlotte on its back.
A divided Twitter debated whether using the horse was “iconic” or “shameful”.
ok i will give chanel this, grace kelly's granddaughter on a horse on the runway is chic. pic.twitter.com/1YfboK83OW— internet baby (@kirkpate) January 25, 2022
That poor horse. Shameful.— Hummingbird (@midvalegrad) January 26, 2022
the @CHANEL haute couture show set up today in paris. v unique.
January 25, 2022
Princess Charlotte has been a competitive showjumper with over a decade of experience. She is eleventh in line to the throne of Monaco.
Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. @CHANEL
Horse struts catwalk at Chanel's Paris Haute Couture show https://t.co/hvsO9272pp— Animal Welfare Party (@AnimalsCount) January 26, 2022