Pologeorgis Furs, which holds the licenses to the fur collections of Michael Kors, Ralph Rucci, Zac Posen and Zandra Rhodes, is launching a signature label with lower prices, unexpected colors and edgy silhouettes for retailers such as Neiman Marcus.
“We want to make fur modern and young so that everybody can wear it,” said Nick Pologeorgis, whose late father, Stanley, founded the company 54 years ago. Pologeorgis’ styles can sell for as much as $250,000 for a full-length sable coat. The new designs are generally under $15,000.
Pologeorgis is treating fur as a fabric or fiber and knits mink fur into hats and scarves. A “tweed” jacket is made from interwoven strips of white, blue and brown mink encircled by black beaver trim for $6,995. An intarsia zip jacket with alternating swirls of caramel and brown mink looks like the inlaid wood work it’s named for, $14,000.
Younger customers don’t want to be weighed down by heavy coats, so Pologeorgis is making fur as light as a souffle, such as the ebony python and mink jacket. An Orchid lamb and fox patchwork coat priced at $3,500 is named for its vivid purple fox sleeves. An asymmetric olive mink and gray leather jacket and ebony plucked mink long vest represent the company’s forward side. There also are sweat shirts, baseball jackets and trench coats in fur as well as a variety of boleros in different shades of mink. There are vests in sable, wheat-colored mink and a black plucked hooded version.
The label is venturing into home products with patchwork fox blankets and double-sided calf skin pillows.
In addition to the long-term licensing deals, Pologeorgis collaborates with three to five designers each year. Past partnerships included Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Libertine and Thom Browne. “It’s picking the right partner,” Pologeorgis said. “We look for partners with a strong style. I liked Libertine because it was very different. Thom Brown is inventive.”
The Pologeorgis Web site was recently relaunched to make it “sleeker, more modern and cleaner,” Pologeorgis said. “It really showcases the products and is faster and easier to manoever through. We’re looking to grow the Web site.” A new fall ad campaign features a long periwinkle blue dyed mink coat from the house label, priced at $12,000. “We’re rebranding ourselves,” Pologeorgis said of the company, which does $11 million in annual sales.
“Fur is still a small industry,” he added. “It’s an important part because it shows the luxury in a collection.”
While Pologeorgis travels to Russia and Canada to purchase pelts, the coats are all made locally. “Designers like working with us because we’re based in New York. We’re like the last New York manufacturer of fur coats.”