It just wouldn’t be New York Fashion Week without a demonstration or two. Filling the quota for the Spring/Summer 2015 season? Argentine designer Victor de Souza, who sent couture-clad models down a “moving runway” of horse-drawn carriages last Wednesday. Animal lovers, however, were having none of it. About 40 protestors from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, NYCLASS, and the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages swarmed Central Park South to decry the use of carriage horses, which Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration seeks to ban.

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Photo by Samira Bouaou for the Epoch Times


De Souza, for one, hopes horse carriages will stick around. “Horse-drawn carriages have been a part of the beautiful cityscape that is New York for more than 150 years,” he said before the show. “There is no better canvas for a runway show than a carriage ride through Central Park.”

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Not everyone shared his opinion, however. Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS told Metro that De Souza was using “abused animals” for “his own publicity.” “I don’t think a $10,000 designer gown goes well with horse manure,” Feldman added.

Although horse-drawn carriages have become a flashpoint issue in the wake of de Blasio’s election, animal-rights groups have been lobbying for years to abolish the tradition, which they describe as “cruel” and “inhumane.”

City Hall declined to comment on the equine “fashion statement,” according to the Epoch Times.

+ Victor de Souza