NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The kickoff to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City Wednesday evening is causing quite a stir as animal rights activists demonstrate against what is expected to be a grand affair featuring several city staples.

As 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported, designer Victor de Souza is opening Fashion Week with a show featuring models in dresses from his spring 2015 collection as they ride horse-drawn carriages around Central Park South.

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Animal rights advocates protest use of horse-drawn carriages at New York Fashion Week kickoff event (Credit: Holli Haerr/1010 WINS)

Animal rights advocates protest use of horse-drawn carriages at New York Fashion Week kickoff event (Credit: Holli Haerr/1010 WINS)

Organizers of the fashion show said the event is a great way to enjoy Fashion Week since you don’t even need a ticket for it.

The animal advocacy group NYCLASS is also in attendance, but not to admire the designer digs. Instead, they are protesting the use of the horse-drawn carriages — a practice Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to ban.

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The protesters argue the use of horse-drawn carriages is unsafe, inhumane and should not be used as props in a fashion show.

Ahead of the fashion show organizers told Haerr every idea has a critic and they’re not too worried about the protesters.

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