Billie Eilish Only Agreed to Wear Oscar de la Renta to 2021 Met Gala If Brand Stopped Selling Fur

The Happier Than Ever singer-songwriter convinced the storied fashion house to permanently change its fur policy

It was Billie Eilish's first time ever wearing Oscar de la Renta when she stepped out at the 2021 Met Gala. But for her to agree to work with the New York-based fashion label on a custom look, the Oscar de la Renta team needed to agree to one important condition.

Eilish, 19, has been vegan for seven years and is a vocal animal rights activist. So it was imperative that the designer she chose to wear for her first Met Gala swore off fur.

For the past few years, Oscar de la Renta didn't use fur in its runway shows because Creative Directors Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim didn't find it "chic, modern or relevant," the New York Times reports. However, the brand still sold clothing made with animal fur in stores and it comprised a "meaningful amount of sales and profit," Oscar de la Renta's Chief Executive Officer Alex Bolen told the outlet.

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Eilish's anti-fur stance inspired the label to make the big change.

MET Gala 2021 Billie Eilish
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"I thought a lot about what [late founding designer] Oscar [de la Renta] said — he was a big fan of fur, by the way — that the one thing he really worried about in the fashion business was his eye getting old," Bolen told the New York Times. "I have to surround myself with people with different points of view."

Billie Eilish
Taylor Hill/WireImage

Eilish was happy to be a catalyst for change in the fashion industry. "Thank you @oscardelarenta for designing this BEAUTIFUL dress and bringing my ideas and vision to life. it was an honor to wear this dress knowing that going forward oscar de la renta will be completely fur-free!!!!" she wrote on Instagram after the Met Gala red carpet.

Co-chair Billie Eilish attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.
John Shearer/WireImage

"i am beyond thrilled that @fernandogarciam1205 and @tokibunbun and the entire team heard me on this issue, and have now made a change that makes an impact for the greater good, not only for animals but also for our planet and environment too," she continued. "i'm honored to have been a catalyst and to have been heard on this matter. i urge all designers to do the same."

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Eilish's custom corset Oscar de la Renta tulle gown was a far departure from her usual grunge style. But the singer-songwriter explained she was finally ready to embrace her feminine side.

"It just was time," the singer told Vogue on the red carpet of her fashion risk. "It was time for this, and I feel like I've grown so much in the last few years."

Eilish continued, "I've always wanted to do this. I was just scared and didn't feel comfortable in my skin and I feel like I finally did."

As for the inspiration behind her look, the star said holiday Barbie played a huge part! "It was my favorite thing in the world," she said with a smile. "I would ask for them for Christmas every single year. The dresses, genuinely that was my inspiration."

Making her first Met even more of a moment, this year Eilish served as co-chair alongside fellow Gen Z trendsetters Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka and Amanda Gorman.

2021 MET ambassadors
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When Vogue confirmed in May that Eilish would be the youngest Met Gala co-chair in history, the outlet explained that her "willingness to embrace an aesthetic as innovative as her music has pushed emerging brands into the limelight and challenged old rules about how a pop star should dress."

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