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Neiman Marcus settles complaints it sold real fur labeled 'faux'

Neiman Marcus and two other retailers agree to abide by the Fur Products Labeling Act and never again knowingly market products with genuine fur as "faux fur."

March 19, 2013|By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
  • The FTC said Neiman Marcus' website misrepresented fur content for three products: a Burberry jacket, a Stuart Weitzman shoe and an Alice & Olivia Kyah coat.
The FTC said Neiman Marcus' website misrepresented fur content for… (Tom Pennington / Associated…)

Neiman Marcus and two other retailers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission complaints that they marketed clothing as containing "faux fur" when it contained genuine animal fur.

The FTC had accused Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and two other retailers, DrJays.com Inc. and Cerritos company Eminent Inc., of violating the Fur Products Labeling Act.

Neiman Marcus and Eminent did not respond to requests for comment.

DrJays Chief Executive Hymie Betesh said in a statement that his company purchases about 50,000 styles a year and there were "a handful of instances where a word may have been omitted in our product descriptions."

"There was no intention to mislead, and we extend apologies to those that feel misled," Betesh said. "We have since taken stricter measures companywide to ensure that we raise this success rate further."

Under consent orders that apply for 20 years, the retailers agreed to abide by the Fur Products Labeling Act and never again knowingly market products as faux fur when they contain genuine fur.

The Humane Society of the United States applauded the FTC's enforcement. The group had asked the FTC to investigate in 2011, alleging that Neiman Marcus and other retailers had mislabeled products that contained animal fur.

Such enforcement, the animal-rights group said, helps ensure that "compassionate consumers are no longer duped into buying animal fur."

The FTC said Neiman Marcus' website misrepresented fur content for three products: a Burberry jacket, a Stuart Weitzman shoe and an Alice & Olivia Kyah coat. The misrepresentations were also made in its catalog and in ads mailed to consumers, the FTC said.

DrJays.com allegedly misrepresented the fur content in a Crown Holder jacket, a Knoles & Carter vest and a United Face jacket.

Eminent's Revolve Clothing store failed to properly document fur content, the FTC said, in four products: an Australia Luxe Collective Nordic Angel Short Boot, a Mark Jacobs Runway Roebling Coat, a Dakota Xan fur poncho and an Eryn Brinie vest.

In addition to mislabeling fur products as "faux fur," Neiman Marcus was accused of misrepresenting that a rabbit fur product was made with mink fur and failed to disclose the country of origin for three other fur products, the FTC said.

stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com

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