There was a time when everyone in fashion – from designers to supermodels – saw fur as ethically incorrect. But now fur has made a big comeback in the fashion world.
Twenty-one years after PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched its ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ advertising campaign, the tide has shifted from seeing fur as a symbol of animal cruelty to thinking of it merely as a fashion statement.
Frank Zilberkweit, the owner of the London fur store Hockley in Mayfair and Vice Chairman of the British Fur Trade Association, said: “Fur has sold so well this year across the globe and the demand for fur will continue to rise.
It’s a luxurious and versatile item that went through a transformation and now the industry perceives it with different eyes.”
Wearing fur is still a way of flashing status. Fur is marketed for luxury and glamour. Although fur is still seen as a demonstration of status and wealth, it is increasingly also becoming a fun fashion item.
While real fur still remains beyond the price range of the average customer, one can now get convincing imitation fur coats and stoles from high street stores like H&M, Mango, Topshop and Zara.
Faux fur is a cheaper option that still retains the elegant and sophisticated appeal of a real fur coat.
According to the International Fur Trade Federation recently there has been an increasing appetite for fur pieces among fashion conscious consumers.
In the West, despite the economic slow-down, the demand for fur remained stable. Last year, fur sales in the UK came to more than £83 million, an increase of 40 per cent since 2009. Globally, fur sales have increased by 70 per cent in the past decade.
Consumers everywhere seek high quality, hand crafted clothes. In spite of the economic downturn, durable luxury goods remain strong.
Frank Zilberkweit added: “Fur is going to be fashionable in 2012/13 in such a way you cannot believe it.”