Nfld. & Labrador

Rod Stewart 'enraged' over use of sealskin photo

Rock icon Rod Stewart is denying he knew the coat he wore at a St. John's fur shop last weekend was made of sealskin.

Store owner says Stewart was well aware the coat was sealskin

Store owner on Rod Stewart sealskin controversy

8 years ago
Duration 4:28
Always in Vogue store owner Darren Halloran discusses what happened when the rock star visited his store

Rock icon Rod Stewart is denying he knew the coat he wore at a St. John's fur shop last weekend was made of sealskin. 

A post to Stewart's official Facebook page says the veteran rocker, who played St. John's July 11, is upset with how the widely shared photograph is being used. 

​Before performing on Saturday night, the British singer was fitted for the coat at Always in Vogue on Water Street.

The move garnered praise from local residents, and on the flip side, an attack from anti-sealing activist Paul Watson

On Tuesday, a post to Stewart's Facebook account said he was not being fitted for a sealskin jacket and had no intention of purchasing the item. 

"Rod regrets that he didn't check what the jacket was made of, but was so grateful for the shop's help, he did not," the post read

"Rod has since been very upset to learn that the shop has been using this image as an advertisement for an industry that he does not know much about and certainly does not support."

The post claims a store clerk at Always in Vogue asked Stewart to pose with one of the store's jackets before leaving. 

Stewart also tweeted that he was "enraged to learn that an image of me has been misused for something I do not support."

'He knew what he was putting on'

Always in Vogue owner Darren Halloran said Stewart knew the coat was made of sealskin when he tried it on.

"He knew what he was putting on. Whether he knew the extent of what comes with putting on a sealskin jacket I don't know. I never meant for that to be the situation. But he knew what he was putting on," he said.

Halloran said he talked to Stewart about how they made the jackets when he showed them around the store.

"I was proud to show them our craftsmanship and what we do, so to say that he didn't know was a bit extreme," Halloran said.

"But he is a celebrity and maybe he didn't know the extremes of the anti-seal groups, such people like Paul Watson and the lies that they tell and the way they blow up the media."

Halloran said it was never his intention to put Stewart in an uncomfortable position and said the rock star was very polite and friendly.

"I would apologize that he has to deal with the most bullied industry in the world right now," he said.

"We didn't intentionally try to hurt him. I put up that picture as a proud Newfoundlander ... we were very proud to have him and very honoured to have him here."

Halloran said that one person in Stewart's entourage made a purchase at the shop, although he did not know who the person was.

Stewart's band and backup dancers pose with owner Darren Halloran after being fitting for cashmere capes. (Always In Vogue/Facebook )

On local radio station K-Rock Monday, Stewart's limousine driver said he suggested to Stewart that they pick up sealskin to keep the band warm. 

"He was really interested and we took a look, and we stopped at Always in Vogue while we were driving by and he said well, 'We'll get something for the band members for tomorrow when we're playing the show,'" said Jordan Keating, owner of VIP Transportation Inc.

Keating said Stewart walked in the store and "got fitted right in a sealskin coat ... and he's probably wearing it today."

"He knows all about Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Pamela Anderson and Sam Simon all coming down here. He didn't make a comment about it. I guess he's all for it."

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