Cicely Hansen, owner of Decades of Fashion, assembles an outfit for a customer on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Steven Ho/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Haight-Ashbury vintage clothing store owner pleads no contest to illegal fur sales

The owner of a vintage clothing store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood entered a no contest plea Monday to charges that she was offering the fur of endangered animals for sale.

Cicely Hansen, owner of Decades of Fashion at 1653 Haight St., pleaded no contest in San Francisco Superior Court to two counts of illegal possession for sale of an endangered species and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Hansen was initially charged in March with nine counts after state Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators seized 150 items in a raid of the store, which advertises items ranging from Victorian times to the 1980s.

The seized items included clothing and accessories containing skins and body parts from a jaguar, ocelot, snow leopard and endangered sea turtle, among others.

Despite her plea Monday, Hansen remained indignant about the allegations that she was knowingly selling illegal furs, saying she felt the district attorney had “slandered” her.

“It’s not like I’m a poacher,” she said.

She said she was unaware of a 2016 state law that made the sale of all endangered animal parts illegal. Previously, items from before 1973 were considered acceptable, Hansen said.

However, a “disgruntled former employee” had tipped off state officials that she had items in the store that violated the new law, some of which Hansen said were her own personal property and not intended for sale.

She described herself as an animal rights activist who rescues horses and who abhors modern furs that come from inhumane fur farms.

“I don’t even eat meat,” Hansen said.

“What I actually am is a fashion historian,” she said. “I’ve owned most of those pieces for 50 to 60 years, and some of them are more than 100 years old.”

Max Szabo, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, said Hansen had a chance to fight the charges in court but had chosen to plead no contest.

He said it is important that people responsible for selling endangered species furs and parts be held accountable.

“These creatures don’t have a second chance, and once they’re gone, they’re gone,” he said.

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
Crime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Musician shot by off-duty FBI agent on Haight Street speaks out

Man thought official was a ‘fake cop’

Newsom: California’s homelessness crisis ‘a disgrace’

Governor uses State of the State speech to call for new revenue to tackle problem

Emails reveal another FBI suspect may have given Mayor Breed a gift

onguard Mere days after Mayor London Breed revealed she took a potentially… Continue reading

Video shows angry 49ers fan throwing items at cashier on Super Bowl Sunday

San Francisco police are asking the public for help identifying an aggressive… Continue reading

New plan provides a road map to better transit for Bayview residents

SFMTA to review suite of 101 projects designed to improve community safety and access

Most Read