Is the Fashion Industry Duping Consumers Into Believing Fur is a "Trend"?
7 months ago
Fur suppliers often sponsor designers behind the scenes
Every fall, Fashion Week runways and magazine pages are populated by fur-wearing models whose opulent extravagance aims to appeal to the masses despite the evident effects of the economic downturn and the increasingly public presence of animal protection organizations.
Subsequently, consumers fondly eye the fuzzy accessories in an attempt to keep on track with the industry-declared trend. But they are likely unaware that fur isn't always an organically-built fad, but instead a style solicited from designers by the fur suppliers who financially back them.
According to the International Fur Trade Federation, global sales of fur increased 70 percent from 2000 to 2010, with the market's net worth nearing $16 billion last year. Almost $1.5 billion of that figure came from the U.S., the least amount when compared to the money spent on fur by consumers Europe, Asia and Russia.
But Danielle Katz, campaign manager of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), believes the big numbers could be the result of what she sees as bribery.
"The fur industry puts out this press release every year, that 'Fur is Back!' but fur is not popular to the general public." Katz said. "The fur industry often has to pay designers to promote its product—they're flying them out, they're wining and dining them, they're manipulating the public, really. And what a lot of people don't know is that even if fur shows up on the runway it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be in the collection. It's duping the public."
Indeed, when Justin Timberlake debuted the "New America" collection of his William Rast clothing line at New York Fashion Week in 2010, several looks included real fox fur accents, but later, CEO Colin Dyne assured PETA that those items wouldn't be for sale.
That same year, the New York Times reported that popular designers—including Alexander Wang, whose Doodle Print Jeans were spotted on "fur-free" first lady Michelle Obama last summer—were "lured" by Saga Furs, an international auction house that represents 3,000 breeders, and flown to Copenhagen to attend paid-for week-long junkets at its design studios. The designers were then given unconditional and unrestricted power to use fur with state-of-the-art techniques.
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