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They’re not exactly what you’d call fun furs, but Hockley’s new 20-piece collection designed by Clements Ribeiro is sure to put a smile on the faces of fur fans — and make a few new ones. The line, which made its showroom debut during London Fashion Week, has a young look and a groovy, flea-market vibe. “We set out to create fur coats for women who’ve never worn fur before,” said Inacio Ribeiro. “When I design, I think like a fur virgin, which means nothing fancy — no twisting, melting or overdyeing. I just want fresh and modern.” To wit, the duo’s black overcoat looks at first as if it’s made of wool, but it’s actually sheared mink. A short, black-and-white fox jacket has a bright purple velvet belt tied at the waist, while a white bleached mink jacket looks fine with — or without — its black dyed fox tippet. The old-Hollywood-style printed fox wrap can be draped over anything from a pair of jeans to an Oscar gown.

Retail prices range from about $1,134 for a rabbit capelet to $8,500 for the black sheared mink overcoat. The collection will be on sale at Hockley’s store on London’s Conduit Street, and the British fur company is aiming to sell to specialty stores in the U.K., Europe and the U.S. Ribeiro, who featured a handful of furs in the Clements Ribeiro ready-to-wear collection, believes fur is the new cashmere. “There was a time when young women didn’t wear cashmere sweaters,” he said. “Then there was a revolution, and today everyone has two or three — or 20. Very soon, we’ll be used to the idea of having two or three furs in the closet.”

This story first appeared in the February 17, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.