By  on February 14, 2007

NEW YORK — Let the fur fly.

That seemed to be the motto of designers showing during New York Fashion Week last week, and the buyers, editors and socialites sitting in the front rows. Whereas in past seasons the luxury material seemed as taboo in certain fashion circles as overweight models, this fashion week, there was more fur on display — in ways both bold and discreet — than there has been in years.

In addition to ubiquity on the runway, there was Christian Louboutin in a fur-lined down vest, Bergdorf Goodman's Roopal Patel in a tie-front fur vest, Joanna Mastroianni snug under a Mongolian lamb hat and Judith Giuliani playing it safe in a full-length fur. Though unintentionally, the female trio that accompanied Burt Tansky to Friday's Carmen Marc Valvo show was a candid snapshot of how fur has caught on with women of all ages. Tansky's wife, Rita, wore a full-length coat, his daughter opted for a shorter version and his granddaughter sported a shearling.

Roopal Patel in a tie-front fur vest, Joanna Mastroianni snug under a Mongolian lamb hat and Judith Giuliani playing it safe in a full-length fur. Though unintentionally, the female trio that accompanied Burt Tansky to Friday's Carmen Marc Valvo show was a candid snapshot of how fur has caught on with women of all ages. Tansky's wife, Rita, wore a full-length coat, his daughter opted for a shorter version and his granddaughter sported a shearling.

But the Neiman Marcus Group chief executive officer said the interest is driven by shoppers. "I think the customer wants fur — it's a luxury."

Of course, designers want the four-digit and five-digit sales that accompany fur to keep going. Last year, fur items rang up $1.82 billion in retail sales — a slight increase compared with 2005, according to the Fur Information Council of America. But given the unseasonably warm winter many regions of the country had last year, that tally wasn't bad, said executive director Keith Caplan. "The focus was on more fashion-oriented pieces — capelets, shrugs, stoles and accessories. Obviously, those pieces are lower-priced than a fur coat, so you have to sell more of them."

What the masses of fur all over the runways for fall means to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals remains to be seen. The group has raised plenty of ruckus in past seasons, but this fashion week's demonstration amounted only to fliers being passed out before one show, and the group's sponsorship of Marc Bouwer's fur-free show.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus