Jun Takahashi penned “a heartfelt letter” apologizing for his use of live butterflies during UNDERCOVER‘s runway show at Paris Fashion Week.
A representative for PETA confirmed the news and furnished a copy of the letter with WWD, which stated that the designer promised to never use real butterflies or other live animals again. The organization reached out to Takahashi in regards to the three terrarium ballgowns that closed out UNDERCOVER’s SS24 show, all three of which featured an encasing with flying butterflies. The designer explained in the letter that he has had an affinity to butterflies after he came into contact with a white butterfly following his grandmother’s funeral two decades ago. He took that as a sign of his grandmother’s “closeness” and has been perceptive of the insect ever since.
Takahashi also shared in the letter that he expressed his worries about the butterflies when he thought of the concept, so he ordered butterflies that were “safe and in good health” from a company that ethically bred the insects. Prior to the show, they were provided with enough space to breathe and fly around, and were released in a park after the show. “But at the end of the day, as you said, or as I thought somewhere in my heart, this act was still a mistake,” he wrote. In his closing, he continued, “Please do not hesitate to inform us more on this topic as we want to learn to behave better. And I pray that the butterflies will come to my side again.”