TOKYO, April 12 Chie Imai, furrier to Japan's royal family, wants more young women to wear the real thing, for the sake of their skin.
"Fake fur is bad for your health," Imai told Reuters after showing vividly colored coats made of mink, lynx and other furs in Tokyo this week for the 30th anniversary of her fashion house.
"Real fur is lighter and better on your skin. So that is why young people should be wearing more."
Animal rights activists and many celebrities have campaigned strongly against using real fur in fashion.
But many of the world's biggest fashion retailers say real animal pelts sell very well and designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix and Valentino all celebrated the return of fur during their shows in Paris last month.
Imai displayed her trademark mosaic-patterned coats during the Tokyo show, which she said was "dynamic, flowery and radiant" -- and aimed at young fashionistas. Models included New York socialite and trendsetter Tinsley Mortimer, who strutted down the catwalk in a pink fur overcoat.