Natasha Korol the only female Fur Broker in the world
I interviewed Natasha Korol Director of London based company “Scarlet Rosefinch LTD“
What does it mean to be the only female fur broker?
Its interesting, I feel privileged to have this job. All guys from my circle always trying to help in all aspects of our profession, from providing very comprehensive catalogue, to discussing market strategy, prices and other aspects at any time of the fur sector.
How did you get into the fur sector?
By pure chance, one of my contacts knew someone in the fur industry and recommended me, the rest is history. I started in 1998, so today I am in fur business more than 20 years.
You live in London, but I imagine you travel often from Copenhagen, Helsinki, Toronto to Saint Petersburg for the the fur auction houses. How many times a year do you have to travel for auctions?
Well, we travel a lot, as we need to attend auctions in Copenhagen 5 times, Helsinki 4 times, St Petersburg 3 times and Toronto 3 times a year. Throw in the mix Milan and Hong Kong where Fur Fairs are held and you have many, many air miles a year!
Is travelling too destabilising?
It can be, if you only have one night to change your suitcase, but short flight, like to Copenhagen or Milan is not a problem.
Is there a fur auction house that you prefer in particular? If so, why?
All auction houses have their advantages, Kopenhagen Fur, obviously located in that beautiful city and we all like to go there, Helsinki is very nice during summer and autumn, St Petersburg has its own charm being located in one of the most gorgeous cities in the world. Needless to say all auctions are very friendly and professional toward their guests and its a pleasure to work with all of them.
Who are your clients? Fashion brands or do you have other types of clients like Furniture Fur designers?
My clients mainly manufacturers , but I also have a few skins dealers, who are selling to other producers. In the last five years business transformed dramatically, as before many of my customers were mainly skins dealers but now majority of my clients are manufacturers.
Which type of fur skins do you prefer to buy?
I like to buy all types of fur skins, it is very interesting to serve my clients, as we discuss what type of goods they need and we always find the optimal solution for their need. But still my favourite to buy is Sable, its really a miracle and looks magnificent in a garment. I am happy I provide a service and make women warm and glamorous with a garment, which will last a long time, maybe a lifetime.
Do you prefer inspection days or the auctions days ? I prefer auction days, as I like action and energy in everything I do.
Would you like auction houses to be digital? I mean being able to buy for example from a tablet sitting on your sofa?
I think this movement towards buying fur on line without visiting auction can be done very soon, of course we would need some inspection days, but otherwise the technology auctions using today can be easily converted into on-line buying.
About your vision of the fur world: what has changed and how will things evolve?
I think people used fur since stone age and will continue to use it in the digital age. I lived in Irkutsk for 1 year and in the winter the temperature dropped to -45, so no one can survive without fur. In European fashion space fur already converted into smaller pieces, accessories, fur trim and so on. The media here in London doesn’t like us, but it doesn’t mean that consumers don’t want fur. Fur is amazing and sustainable product, which lasts a lifetime bringing warmth and joy to the wearer. I think fur is there to stay.
What are the places you usually go to eat during your auction trips? For example in Copenhagen or in Helsinki?
Both auctions are amazing in providing dinner as well as lunch for all guests, so we are spoilt for choice to eat, without even going out, but we also like to eat in different places, in Copenhagen we often go to Bistro 22 or Sticks”n”Sushi in Runsted, its a lovely area on the seaside with lots of places to eat and hang out. In Helsinki our absolute favourite is G.W.Sundmans, today Helsinki is fast becoming a real culinary hub with new, modern places opening all the time.
Would you recommend your job to a young girl?
It’s an interesting question, on one hand our job in very exciting, because its so international and involves lots of travelling, which can be attractive for young girls. On the other hand, recently our industry is facing lots of challenges from instability of the markets, to price fluctuations, making business extremely challenging. To add insult to injury, many designer labels today refusing to use fur in their collection, creating negative vibe and bad publicity.
If you had to advise your five favourite fur brands or fashion brands you are fond of which would they be?
They are Fendi, Yves Salomon, Burberry, Ferre and Gavazzi, who are absolute leaders of fur fashion.
You are very active on Instagram, I always follow you. What do you like about this social network? OMG, I made so many friends via Instagram, not only virtual, but also real, its a great tool of communication and keeping an eye on my friends and followers lives and this is very real, not at all virtual.