This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
By Monica Bedi It's soft, contemporary and on trend this season, and it came from a once-living animal. Fur, according to the fashion industry, is versatile and can work as an accessory or garment. Recently, designers have been finding creative ways to incorporate fur into their designs. Fur was ubiquitous this Fall 2012 season with coats, shawls, skirts, shirt hems and more. Notably, brands such as Herve Leger, BCBG and Jason Wu focused on fur sleeves as a must-have fashion staple. According to Elle magazine, "The Row's AW11 collection was basically fur on steroids - the Olsens sent everything from coats to dresses to gigantic hats screaming Bryanboy down the runway." In the fashion world, fur fashion is highlighted in catwalk reports for womenswear and menswear. In addition, the major trends are identified and evaluated from the year’s autumn/winter fashion shows, as well as the Haute Couture shows in July. Furthermore, fur trend reports cover the major trends for fur fashion for the coming season, which cover key shapes, lifestyle trends and wider consumer trends that influence fur fashion. Alongside the catwalk is the influence of street fashion and no matter your budget or taste there is something made from the fashion industry for every consumer as fur is one of the most accessible and most produced fashion trends on the market. In such, there is a high demand for quality and transparency in the fashion industry for fur. The staff at Saga Furs Design Centre says there is a demand for high quality furs, but also demand for products that come from responsible sources and the inherent value of transparency in the Saga Furs production chain. “It was also very interesting for them to hear about dressing and colouring processes that can affect the final quality of fur garments,” says Karja from the Saga Fur Design Center. “This is a point of view from a different angle that inspires them to see if there is something they can do on the production side to improve the quality of their skins.” Then, according to We Are Fur, REMIX, the annual international fur fashion design competition, held in Milan, allows fur aficionados to engage in a talent completion that encourages the use of purchasing fur and then designing garments and accessories made out of fur. Thence, fur is popular in competitive stances which promotes a more heavily used trend in the fashion industry. Note, the most common farmed fur-bearing animal is mink (Mustela vison), followed by fox (Vulpes vulpes and Alopex lagopus). Other species farmed on a smaller scale include nutria
(Myocastor coypus), chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera), fitch (Mustela putorius and Mustela eversmanni), sable (Martes zibellina) and finn raccoon (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Most mink farming takes place in Europe (approximately 58%) and North America (approximately 10%). The remainder occurs in countries as far apart as Argentina, China, Ukraine and Russia. Further, in the fashion industry, fur from different animals is used on runways and in fur competitions. Clearly, the industry is supportive of the fur farming industry and in addition to their use of fur on the runway and in competitions; fur is used as a statement. In 2008, French Vogue gave PETA the middle finger (literally) with a pro-fur spread. Vogue has been renowned for controversial spreads but this spread marked the stamp on the fashion industry’s approval for fur fashion and disregard to those such as PETA, who disapprove of the fur industry. Yet, although Vogue is a prominent fashion voice for the fashion industry, there are several fashion designers who are unsupportive of fur fashion. According to Ecorazzi, Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Charlotte Ronson, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger and Vivienne Westwood are all anti-fur fashion designers. “Known for ads with Mark Wahlberg and Kellan Lutz sporting underwear, for people to drool over, Calvin Klein is popular worldwide for his fashionable designs. Founded in 1968, the company didn’t go fur-free until 1994, the same year they received a visit and quite a protest from PETA. Mr. Klein even sat down with the animal activist group and watched a film of animals being killed to make furs. Fortunately, he ended all fur licensing agreements after 17 years and now offers faux-fur designs. The 69-year-old designer provides a variety of items that you can sport proudly like this belted faux fur leopard print coat.” Thus, fur fashion provides the fashion industry with benefits of fashion product, innovation, and voice. Essentially, fur fashion sets the dialogue in the fashion industry for the hot new thighhigh mink boots, never-before seen sheep pea coat discovered in a fur design competition or as a tool to exclaim their passion for fur and lack of care for those who disagree with their stance. The fur industry truly benefits the fashion industry as a incomparable luxury and makes the fashion industry succeed as an industry that ceaselessly develops as an industry for creative perseverance and direction.