Paris: French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier said Wednesday he could go back to using fur if he could be sure it was entirely traceable.
The flamboyant creator announced in November he was renouncing fur, a move hailed as a major victory by animal rights groups like PETA who have previously tried to disrupt one of his shows and occupied his Paris boutique.
But at his first fur-free Paris haute couture show, Gaultier told AFP that this "wasn't a funeral for fur".
He said that he did not rule out one day recycling his old furs, or using new pelts again "if everything is done right, and obviously not with endangered species.
"But for now we need to calm things down," he added.
Gaultier told French television last year that the methods used to kill animals for fur were often "absolutely deplorable".
He produced his entirely fur-free autumn winter collection Wednesday with US singer Christina Aguilera in the front row alongside French movie legend Catherine Deneuve and "RuPaul's Drag Race" stars Violet Chachki and Miss Fame.
Gaultier replaced fur with feathers in typically flamboyant fashion, with huge fluffy collars and plume-decked chapka hats, quipping, "No feathers have been killed for this show."
Pelts gave way to animal prints.
"It's fake fake fur," Gaultier told AFP, "a trick of the eye."
"I really like the feel of fur, it's absolutely magnificent and so warm. But now we have that in other ways," he admitted.
"We are in an age when there is too much of everything, so we shouldn't be killing animals.
"I have a charming little pussy, and I love animals, though I draw the line at crocodiles," said the 67-year-old enfant terrible.
Gaultier said that it had been well established that animals used for fur were often not well-treated. "So I prefer not to use it any more, or maybe just recycle my old furs from 15 years ago that weren't sold so I can do something with them.
"We have to recycle clothes. It is something I have done from the beginning of my career with old jeans, cutting them up in every which way. We could do the same thing with fur. We should not be burning clothes."
Gaultier conceded that fur had a huge image problem.
"I didn't like the image of women who wore fur -- of women kept by old rich men. Thankfully women have gone beyond that a long time ago, and fur is no longer a synonym for that."