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Fendi Show Goes on After It Sheds Fur from Catwalk

ABC News(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Fendi's glitz and glamour showed off with a new colorful, young and sporty look in its 2011 fall-winter fashion collection.

It was also notable for what it didn't have -- fur.  The fur was largely stripped from the show at the insistence of the South Korean government when anti-fur activists had threatened to protest.  But the largest show in Asia -- which Fendi and the Seoul Metropolitan Government launched Thursday with much ambition -- still attracted groups of animal rights protesters shouting slogans of anti-fur outside the venue.

"No fur, no Fendi," chanted 80 to 90 protesters who included school children while a woman spread red paint on a sheet of paper with the name Fendi on it.

One banner read "The company of blood, Fendi.  The city of blood, Seoul."

World-renowned, Italian fashion house Fendi's fashion show in Seoul comes at a time when Asia, particularly China, Japan, and Korea has become a vital market for European fashion industries.

When animal rights activists threatened two weeks ago to protest, the Seoul government had demanded that Fendi drop fur from the catwalk or risk the show being canceled altogether.  Fendi at that time had already poured in big bucks to prepare for the show, as well as sent invitations out to worldwide celebrities such as Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.

For the Seoul government, the Fendi show was a part of a string of celebrating events to promote a new culture center, the Floating Island, built on a man-made island on the Han River.  It weaved in perfectly with Seoul's aspiring image as Asia's center of design.

After behind-the-scenes negotiation, Fendi compromised and took some fur out, instead including more items such as bags, shoes and accessories.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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