By Tamara Palmer
While some may foster fond and distant memories of Dr. Dre as a working producer, he’s much more absorbed in selling his Beats By Dr. Dre headphones these days — and now the endeavor is getting him into trouble. At issue is a limited edition silver fox fur-trimmed pair of headphones created in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta and sold on the legendary fashion designer’s website.
“Form meets function as these high performance headphones deliver rich, full sound from a portable and stylish unit,” reads the product description. Suitably appalled, the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) sent Global Grind a copy of the letter they planned to send to Dr. Dre.
“We wanted to get in touch to urge you to keep fur and exotic-animal skins out of your Beats by Dre designs,” reads the letter written by PETA’s special projects manager Michelle Cho. “Foxes, minks, rabbits, and other animals — including cats and dogs — are bludgeoned, genitally electrocuted, strangled with wire nooses, drowned, and even skinned alive for their pelts. Most animals killed for their fur are slaughtered in China, where there are no penalties for those who abuse animals on fur farms.”
Cho asked that Dre would join designers such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Vivienne Westwood in banning fur from his design repertoire. There has been no response thus far from Dr. Dre. And given that these collaborative headphones are based on a previous runway design from Oscar de la Renta, it is likely that PETA has been sending similar letters to the fashion house for quite some time.
If the $695 price tag for these foxy headphones seems steep, keep in mind the entry-level Beats By Dr. Dre headphones typically retail for about $180. So ultimately this could be considered a bit of a bargain, as long the whole fur thing doesn’t distract you from the bass.