After fourteen days and four actions, Monique Lhuillier has conceded.
On November 27, CAFT USA launched the Monique Lhuillier Cruelty Campaign. On December 10, Monique Lhuillier, Inc., contacted PETA to announce that they were going fur free.
The campaign consisted of the following actions:
• a kickoff protest at the Monique Lhuillier flagship store in West Hollywood
• five minutes of chalking at the store
• a protest at JJ Kelly Bridal, an Oklahoma City store holding a trunk show of Monique’s bridal collection
• a phone action encouraging people to call JJ Kelly Bridal during the protest
Much, much more was planned. But in two weeks, we won a victory for animals on fur farms.
Lessons from the Campaign
Secondary targeting works
The deciding factor in Monique’s concession was the protest and phone action against JJ Kelly Bridal. Trunk shows are a vital part of Monique’s business strategy. And due to the protest, this store locked their doors, on a Saturday during a publicly advertised event.
This single protest at a Midwestern shop with no fur was worth five at her flagship in West Hollywood. It went beyond the symbolic, to threaten her business interests.
We had further secondary targets lined up – bridal stores around the country, and a friendly national furniture chain (including planned protests at the houses of the corporate officers and directors of that chain). But Monique caved immediately upon realizing our strategy: campaigning against her business partners and making her company into an untouchable industry pariah.
Does it sound strange or uncomfortable to protest at a bridal store? Does it feel more sentimental and satisfying to protest at a store that actually has fur inside? Our answer is: it doesn’t matter. The animals are suffering right now. They do not care what feels good. They care what works.
And secondary targeting works.
Concrete goals for concrete results
This was a results-based campaign, with a specific, measurable, winnable goal. We did not have to guess at whether our actions were succeeding in changing something: we know they did.
People like winning. When we define victory and then achieve it, this builds our movement. It builds momentum to move onto bigger victories. And it prevents burnout.
Concrete successes can be a vital part of reaching our ultimate goal of total liberation.
Work smarter, not harder
The campaign involved hours upon hours of hard work, preparation, and planning. But we knew that work would have an outsized impact, because we took time to strategize.
We could have randomly protested different fur designers every weekend. We could have protested only outside of Monique’s storefronts. Instead, we sat down, mapped out Monique’s business, and determined what would most affect its bottom line.
We have finite time and resources. Let’s use them wisely.
Onto the Next
Monique Lhuillier is a stepping stone in the broader war on fur. We will build on this victory with another pressure campaign against a larger designer. Meanwhile, we will keep heat on longer-term targets, such as Saks Fifth Avenue. Together, we will dismantle the fur trade.
Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade – United States