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Fur in the Fashion Industry

The history of fur in the fashion industry and the reason for its popularity.

Devika Sen

on 1 December 2013

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Transcript of Fur in the Fashion Industry

Fur in the Fashion Industry
The Victorian period saw a dramatic rise in the popularity of fur fashion.
Fur was worn mostly by royalty.
The trend was extended to the common person by the 20th century.
By this time, fur was already associated with the rich and the royal.
“For many women in postwar Britain a fur coat – preferably mink – represented the height of luxury, the ultimate object of desire."
“Fur epitomized a dream of glamour, the height of fashion, a longing for comfort and success”
In postwar Britain, a woman would have been lucky if a “male protector” would buy her a fur coat.
Many women who came into their own money would first buy themselves one.
The cinema popularized fur even further because women saw celebrities adorning themselves in fox and sable coats.
In the 1920s, about two out of three women wore fur as coats or trims.
London became the center of the fur trade in the 1930s.
In the 1950s the demand was huge for minks and foxes. Women had grown hungry for luxury and desperate for fur; they wore fur coats, stoles, ties, brooches, and even earrings.
There remains still a sense of luxury when a glamorous woman struts by in a fur coat.
The associations with glamour and wealth have carried their way to modern times.
“The Animal Rights movement first brought attention to… the fur industry in the late 1970s”
Many organizations began launching campaigns that exposed the cruelties of the fur industry.
The most popular today is PETA.
PETA stands for "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals."
Their most famous campaign is known as "I'd rather go naked than wear fur."
The treatment of animals has greatly improved in at least regulated industries.
The fashion world (or at least some of it) has been recovering from the wave of anti-fur protest in the late 20th century.
Many designers who had at one point denounced fur have started using it again.
“In a meat eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes, and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish.”
-Karl Lagerfield
In the past, fur has symbolized...
Fur Returns to the Runway
Many designers have been incorporating more and more fur in their collections.
Fur companies provide designers and fashion schools with fur.
This has helped them wedge their way .back into fashion
“Many designers have become reliant on [the fur industry] for financial backing.”
Other reasons for the resurfacing of fur:
The vintage trend
The connotations
To show wealth
There are fur cases available for iPhones and other electronic accessories.
Fendi used fur in 41/41 looks in their collection during Spring Fashion Week.
70% of designers used fur at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
People who thought fur was morally acceptable: 60% (recent poll)
PETA continues to protest against the use of fur.
“Fur is still a part of fashion, so VOGUE will continue to report on it.”
-Anna Wintour
Editor-in-Chief, VOGUE
It seems that fur fashion is nowhere near its end.
Would you wear fur?

Christina Anderson, The Huffinton Post
Nora Crotty, Fashionista
Elizabeth Day, The Guardian
Carol Dyhouse, History Today
Hadley Freeman, The Guardian
"Leathers, Feathers, and Fur: A Fashion History," Ohio State University
"Our Mission Statement," PETA
Full transcript