For Immediate Release:
7 June 2010
Hollywood, California – Along with her heartiest wishes, leather-free designer Rina Shah sent a special pair of shoes from her new collection to vegan Hollywood star Natalie Portman in celebration of the actor’s 29th birthday, which is 9 June. Shah – who is known for her exquisitely designed footwear – chose Portman for the honour because the star has been a long-time supporter of animal rights and even released her own line of non-leather shoes in 2008.
Portman has said, “I won’t wear leather in my own life and I won’t wear it for a movie either. They have to make me clothes from fake leather”.
Shah has built her brand into an icon of fashionable shoes and accessories. As an active member of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, Shah is doing her part to bring a halt to the inhumane practice of slaughtering cows, goats and buffaloes for their skin by choosing to design with non-leather materials.
Cows, buffaloes and other animals used for leather in India are often crammed onto vehicles in such high numbers that their bones are broken. Those who survive this ordeal have their throats cut in full view of other animals, and many of them are dismembered and skinned while they are still conscious. In India, the leather industry ignores even the most basic animal protection laws. Runoff from leather tanneries poisons rivers and streams, harming all life within. It has also been linked to cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses in humans.
Shah started her career as an accessory designer in 1997. Her label, Rinaldi Designs, is an industry leader in designing and manufacturing a wide range of vegan shoes and bags for men and women in unique and sophisticated colours and styles.
The shoes sent to Portman are from Shah’s Cinderella Collection, which was inspired by Cinderella’s glass slippers. They are adorned with Swarovski crystals and retail for 9,500 rupees.
A copy of Shah’s birthday greeting to Natalie Portman is available upon request.