Fur, everything you need to know told from Lady Fur expert and unique fur blogger present on the web
Ok if you have typed this word you may be looking for a fur or for some information on it. Welcome to my fur blog, the only one in the world dedicated to my life in the fur sector. Let me introduce myself: I am Lady Fur, the one and only sector influencer in the world present on the web. Fur is my world and I am happy to tell you about it and share it with you as you read my blog.
Two quick things about my blog:
Clicking here you can see all the videos I have made in the sector and at fur auctions houses, at the fur sector, fur fairs and during fashion weeks. Here instead you can see my photos with all types of furs: mink furs, fox coat, chinchilla jacket. In the shopping section of the blog instead you will find lots of tips on how to wear, for example, a fur hat and where to buy it.
In this post I will tell you in a very personal way about:
- Who I am
- Fake fur
- Real fur
- How the fur sector works ( auctions, farms,brokers, brands, final clients and certifications)
- How my passion started, what I do
- Books on the history of the fur sector
- Furs and designers (colours and techniques)
- Shopping for fur with product galleries and photos
- Where to buy furs online and off line
- How to recycle a fur
- How to treat a fur
(You don’t meet a sector expert every day, especially not a nice one like me, ready to give you tips =).
I will begin writing about the thing I like leastbut it’s important to be clear from the start so let’s talk about fake fur.
The first thing you should know is that there is nothing eco-friendly about “eco friendly” furs. For me “eco” is short for economical. They are highly polluting because they are made with petrol-based materials like nylon, acrylic, polyester, all of which damage the environment. According to the book “Sustainable fashion and textiles” by Kate Fletcher, to get a kilo of synthetic fur it takes respectively 150, 157 and 109 megajoules of energy, depending on the material used. On top of the production costs you must add disposal costs, that in the case of petrol derivatives are very high and very polluting. To sum up, a synthetic fur can be compared to an old plastic bag, and as such is non-biodegradable, on the contrary, like old plastic bags they are practically indestructible. Paradoxically, instead, real furs are biodegradable, in other words “eco- friendly furs”. Let me add that they also look horrid, make you sweat and above all are anything but soft. They are ugly. I don’t know if you know QVC Channel but on this channel I have discovered that there is the fake furs collection of one of the stylists I liked most, Dennis Basso. To increase his turnover he has launched a collection of fake fur: you can find them for 100$ (and I repeat I find them horrid), they are nowhere near comparable with the real Dennis Basso furs. (the real ones cost from 25 thousand $ up).
I have more than 50 coats. (I am not rich I sweated blood to get each of them ) I opened this blog precisely due to my unbridled passion for fur skins and furs. I have over fifty furs of all types and at least thirty fur accessories like hats, (calling them simply fur hats is not enough because I have all types of models: from Russian hats to deerstalkers, berets, the classic padded cap), all styles of fur earwarmers with Swarovsky crystals and other embroidered materials, fur stoles, boots, shawls, toys, blankets, fur pillows (I have so many cushions I could actually open a shop) and more… trust me I think when I am old I will have hundreds or maybe thousands of furs.
Lady Fur wearing fox coat Saga Furs
My story in fur fashion
“Let me tell me briefly about how my passion started. If you are not interested scroll down the page where I will show you my favourite furs of the moment and I will give you the precious advice that only a sector expert can give you =).”
When I was just born in the far off 1985 I was given a cover that I called “titti”, as a matter of fact until the age of 10 I couldn’t sleep without my titti. This cover was in fact in rex fur. But my passion for furs certainly doesn’t come from there…It did have an effect on me though because one day (when I was still small) I cut a piece of my Mum’s fur to make a coat for my Barbie – See the photo below =)
The person who got me on the right track was my grandmother who had wadrobes full of mink coats, fox jackets, ermine collars, she had everything and then some. She bought from Fendi, Carlo Tivioli, Yves Salomon, from Annabella and from her trusted furriers. Back in the day everything was different.
Going to the furrier was like going to the jewellers, you stayed there hours and hours or even whole days when you had to buy a fur. Today unfortunately furriers are closing their beautiful boutiques one after another for various motives.
I will list some: the fact that they don’t want to renew themselves (this leads to failure), the changing society, globalisation.
Furs in the old times had many hairs. Many. Here are the photos below.
They used to cost much much more. They were expenive. They were really heavy: they were worked vertically using the whole skin…Ok, let’s put aside the technical part that could bore you and get back to my grandmother and how my passion started.
Lady Fur in Monte Carlo Summer 2016 wearing a sable coat Carlo Ramello
My crazy passion for furs
My grandmother, who was a spendthrift, loved playing a game: putting all her furs on her gigantic bed. She put a fox one next to a mink one, then took a marmot, a must at that time, a nutria, a sable fur, lining them up very well one next to the other, perfectly, nearly with the precision of a surgeon. The we stripped to our vest and pants, got on top of the furs, and, with our eyes closed, tried to recognise the fur. It could seem a crazy game (it was!) but it opened doors for me in the fur sector. Why? Try closing your eyes, touching different furs and recognising them…it’s really difficult.
But as a matter of fact, whatever furrier I entered, from the age of fifteen, I could recognize the hair of the fur. That’s not for everyone.
When I opened my blog I made a video where I explained how my passion started (I wasn’t yet a professional, I was really young, please don’t judge me) but do watch it because the video got 30k views in a week.
My mother gave me my first fur when I was about twelve or thirteen, an XXL green coat of noble rabbit: the rex. Rex has very very soft hair and it costs relatively little. I don’t know if you are aware but until thirty years ago, in all wealthy families, it was custom to receive a fur jacket when you turned eighteen. Unfortunately this tradition has been lost. What a pity.
Fur Fashion Schools and Fur Auctions
My passion for this magic material remained stable until I was 20. I decided I wanted to attend a private fashion school to become a stylist. To pay for these very expensive studies I started working as a fur seller in various furriers in Turin, Milan and Monte Carlo covering all types of roles: seller, workshop organizer (where we did the famous fur remodelling), assistant tailor sewing linings, machine assistant and stylist. Then I specialized winning competitions at fur auctions like Kopenhagen Fur where I attended a sorting course for mink fur and was introduced to chinchilla fur. In Saga Furs instead I specialized in fox furs. I have a diploma from both auctions with photos with the directors. click here to see the photo with my diploma (I was so ugly) hahaha
Video of my workshop at Saga Furs Design Center and the post
I would have liked to learn more about sable furs but unfortunately working with the Russian fur auction Sojuzpushnina that is the one that sells the most sable furs in the world is very difficult.
While I was studying fashion, I got closer and closer to the world of the web. I looked on the web for friends like me who shared my passion or I looked for fur photos from the past. I researched the history of fur. I looked for information on the sector. But I didn’t find anything. Some things yes, but little.
How the first blog in fur fashion industry started
So I decided to open my blog dedicated to this sector where I share photos of the furs I wear click here to see all my looks. (The blog even started with a menu dedicated to types of furs: mink furs, fox furs, leopard furs, spotted furs and so on). On my blog I advise products, I talk about how the market is going, I show fairs, I promote young designers, I share my travels in the sector and much more. In the sector I am a sort of point of reference and despite attacks from animalists (sometimes even very strong) I am happy to be part of it. As I always say: the fur sector is one big family for me.
I haven’t just opened a blog, I have also worked as designer for many brands and I have also founded my own brand.
My dream was absolutely not to become a “fur blogger” now called “influencer” (blogger is nearly an insult for professionals like me), I would have liked to work full time on my collection with this fantastic material. Because fur is a fantastic material!
Watch this video at Kick the design center of KF
Have you ever asked yourself why designers can’t do without it?
Fur is a fascinating material. It’s extremely ductile, it allows us designers to work with it in every way and express our creativity at its best. Think about it: which material can you cut, sew, lengthen, colour, tear, reuse, carve, stick and whatever else you want to add…And then the colours of skins would excite any designer. In fact fashion designers that don’t understand much about fur skins tend to colour them. Maybe they want to obtain a pink fuscia colour like the Gucci furs that is going strong this autumn winter 2016/2017, photo below.
I REALLY BUT REALLY, REALLY WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THIS FAB FOX IN MY FURS WARDROBE.
Click here to see better the Gucci’s coat or click on the photo
Pink Fox coat Gucci 2016
How to color furs
You have to colour the fur in this way:
As first thing is important select the fur skins to color. In this case white fox furs (they must be white as white naturally) and colour them pink. Take the pantone or pink you want to obtain to the chemist.
It works exactly as with our hair. If your hair is brown it’s difficult to make it pink, you have to bleach it and then dye it. You can also bleach fur skins but it’s a shame because it ruins the hair (same as with our hair).
Designers go to tanners and try to invent colours with the chemists. Special colours that are immediately protected. There is the Fendi colour, the Marni colour, the X colour. You have no idea what fights there are over colors. Many furriers when they go to tanners start asking questions like: What colour did Fendi make? What colour..? They try it on… ahahah
The most important tanners in the fur world are in Italy. A very important one is MIB.
If you wondering if you can colour the fur you have in your wardrobe at home, I can tell you now it’s not possible (no, it doesn’t work like that). Furs are coloured in pieces, not sewn. You can’t take the finished article to the tannery. You can have the item taken apart, gather the skins, have them coloured and then either have the item put back together again or have it made into something else you like, like a border for a coat, a cover or something else.
Natural Fox Skins Saga Furs
Fur designers and fur colors in the modern fashion world
Designers who are experienced in our sector, instead of colouring the furs, try to enhance the colour of the natural furs mixing it with coloured furs. The colours of natural furs are amazing. Most people think that furs are brown, white, black, red and grey. End of colour chart. But no, there are loads of colours, furs with spots like jaguar mink or blackcross mink that has amazing colours or foxes that you could really write a whole book on. I’ll leave it there so not to bore you, also because it would take too long and be out of place in this post. I will be doing many others and anyhow you can always contact me and ask me any questions you might have. Here is a list of a couple of posts on the colours of mutated fox, and others that may interest you.
2 Label system Kopenhagen Fur (I had so much fun to do this video)
Natural colors of mink furs skins Kopenhagen Fur
Knowing how to make colours in our sector is very difficult and special, exactly like knowing how to match furs.
Consider that a single fur hair has more than a thousand shades. A brand that I like in particular besides Fendi is Vladimiro Gioia (he has an amazing eye for colours).
Fur Books and new Ideas with Furs
As I wrote before I am also a fashion designer and with my brand SAMANTHA DE REVIZIIS COLLECTION I have made two sales campaigns and participated in various fairs. Pity I found the wrong investor though. Read this post where I tell you what happened to me, it could be useful to you if you were looking for investors. At the moment my brand Samantha De Reviziis Collection is on hold and I am looking for an investor. The right one this time. The only part of my brand that I am going ahead with is a collection of soft toys in rabbit fur. If you follow me on instagram you will see the various steps… @ladyfur
Here below is a photo with the first toys with rex fur.
Talking of books that have made fur history I recommend:
– Signore in pelliccia by Anna Manchi you can find it on Ebay
– The book of Mifur International Fur Salon, that reached its 50th anniversary, that tells the story of fur with amazing photos and exclusive accounts.
– Ebook of Kopenhagen Fur downloadable of their site (the best book ever) or click here
– ASTORE you can find it on Amazon
– Il mondo della pellicceria (Italian sorry)
– The book by Mano Swartz the oldest furrier in America (I am on the cover)
If ever you are in Milan you should know that the Italian Fur Association has a beautiful archive in the heart of the city full of books of our sector and fashion magazines also Vogue from the 80s with amazing editorials with fur.
Tips on where and how to do fur shopping
The first tip I can give you if you intend to buy a fur is: buy it responsibly. But what does that mean?
Furs must have a label inside that guarantees that the furs are certified. If the furs come from an auction there must be the brand of the label of the auction house. The sector auction houses are few, here they are: Kopenhagen Fur, Saga Furs, Nafa, ALC, Fur Harwester e Sojuzpushnina. If the furs come from these that means that the animals have been bred respecting the rules of our sector. In America the biggest department stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifty Avenue etc.. sell only brands that use certified furs. The big Pret-A-Porter / Haute Couture brands use only certified furs otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get into the department stores and so expand. The laws of our sector are stricter and stricter and the world fur association is fighting to ensure they are respected. As in all sectors they are those who try to get around them but the percentage is really very low and I hope it will go down even more.
Briefly how the fur trade works
I want to explain this because it’s important you know it and then I’ll go on to shopping.
1) Farmers breed animals, click here I wrote a post where I show how the animals are really treated (they live well, eat high protein foods and die without feeling any pain in less than 20 seconds).
2) The animal skins are delivered to the auctions.
3) The auctions sort and divide the furs according to quality, colour, strength and other details. They are classified and lots of similar furs are formed. The lots are numbered. The lot number is printed in a catalogue that is then used by the brokers.
4) Brokers are the people that buy skins at auction. It works like in the films (there is the auctioneer that shouts out the rising figures and closes the bid beating his hammer). The brokers that raise their hand, if they are interested in the lot, fight amongst themselves to win the lot of skins they are after. In the world there are only 6 auctions and the brokers go round all six auctions.
5) The skins are then handed over to the brokers. Here a post a brokers Guida
6) The brokers deliver them to the fashion houses and clients that have commissioned them. The skins that are left are sold during the year as supplies in their showrooms and through participating in fairs. The auctions are so cool I love it: the atmosphere is pure adrenaline.
Lady Fur wearing a fox coat Saga Furs
This may interest you: if you have a tight budget to invest in a new fur, you can always have one of your old furs valued by a furrier and buy a new one or you can have the fur you inherited from your grandmother that you already have at home reworked.
You have no idea what I haven’t done with my grandmother’s furs. One has become a bed for my dog Emilie, and I took another apart and made trims for wool jumpers. I wrote a post about how to use inherited or old fur. Click here to read it, it’s very useful if you are thinking of redoing the furs you have in your wardrobe.
Don’t throw them or neglect them. Furs must be treated well: in summer you must put them in the fridge so they don’t get hot otherwise micro insects will grow and destroy them. If you want to resell them you still have to have them valued first. A furrier has to open the fur and evaluate the skin and the hair to be able to put it back on the market at the right price. You can sell furs on Ebay, Depop Etsy. If instead you want to do a good deed give them to charity there are lots of associations that would take them.
Here are some winter garments chosen by me with love
Fur Vest are one of those items that we can’t do without. A gilet goes well both with a sporty and elegant outfits. (Mamma mia! How banal what have I written?) =) I will try to make it up for this banality giving you two galleries of vests chosen especially for you. Here below is a gallery with all the photos of fur vest worn by me in the last few years and a selection my favourite vest with fur hoods.
Here is a selection of vest that I made on my fav shop online I hope you will like it =)
And guys here is a super cool post I did in the past about How When and Where to wear a vest
Vest with light colors
Vest style dark colors
There has been the boom of the fur stole: in the last few years we have seen them in all ways and all colours. This year 2016 they are not particularly in: Fendi printed on them and cut above the logo, Philipp Plein also but, I don’t know…I find them a bit over. I prefer the fur stole XXL but I don’t like the brand to be highlighted, I find them cheap and vulgar. If I had to choose between a stole XXL and a beautiful scarf , I would choose the second because it’s more refined and chic. Here is my selection for you. And here a post rich of photos of me wearing a special Mano Swartz fur scarf.
Lady Fur summer 2015 wearing a Fox tail Mano Swartz
Finally we have got to the most important subject: furs.
Here there is a massive problem. The fur world is extremely behind. Fashion is 20 years ahead compared to my beloved sector. Fur brands are not online and don’t sell online because they are convinced that we can’t sell on the web. (What a load of rubbish) the problem is that they are not able to renew themselves. For example in this post I would like to show you my favourite mink, chinchilla, sable furs, some splendid sables with full skirt and gigantic hood, but how can I? I have made a mini gallery of the items that I like most, let me know if you like them or not (I will update them gradually with time).
I find the furs by Fendi, Yves Salomon, Gucci, Valentino, Marni and Dennis Del Basso very beautiful.
I love chinchilla with crocodile mixed with other materials.
Classic furs are very beautiful but I think they are good for wearing on basic days or for routine. In the evening or for social events I love inlaid furs, like those of Fendi or Vladimiro Gioia.
Pop coats with intarsia for special days
Classic coats for everyday
Fur Boots and furs shoes
Since Celine launched the decolletè with heel in fur about six years ago, every year some designers have launched shoes with fur. It was the summer of the fur slippers by Gucci that sent the web wild and now Fendi has launched platform shoes made fur, they look like enormous slippers. Maybe I am wrong to call them platforms: they are slippers with the wedge covered in fur. Gucci hasn’t stopped and with him many other brands like Gianvito Rossi, Marni, Casadei here below is a gallery of pictures taken by me with shoes and boots with fur
I’m not sure you remember this post with the best shoes of 2015
Rabbit Fur and Rex Fur
There are rabbit furs: lapin and there are others made of noble rabbit: the rex, with longer hair. It’s a very soft hair that I adore. They are not expensive and very resistant so they last a long time if they are treated well with care and love.
They are forbidden. It is not legal to trade in them unless the skins are certified or inherited. This winter spots are a must so here below you will find a gallery of furs with a leopard print.
Chinchilla furs are more delicate. The leather is extremely thin. You just have to look at it and the hair gets dirty. But there is a but. They are absolutely the softest furs. Chinchilla hair is rarely dyed because it has a beautiful natural colour. Chinchilla costs, it’s an expensive fur, not like sable but nearly. The feeling you get wearing a Chinchilla fur can’t be compared to that of mink or fox …. It’s a unique feeling.
Online there are few.
Here below is a gallery with my most beautiful photos with this special garment and a gallery of furs found on Nordstrom and other online shops.
Marmot fur is a very strange trend, it’s not evergreen like mink, fox, sable, chinchilla or rabbit.
It comes and goes. Lady Gaga some years ago was photographed with a coat by Armani in marmot, then other stars.. Marmot is used a lot for borders, men’s furs. Here below is a gallery.
Where to buy furs
I have shared only online shops like Nordtrom, Neiman Marcus, Luisa Via Roma, Match Fashion, My Theresa and directly the sites of brands like Gucci and Fendi that sell online.
But offline there are a lot of amazing valid furriers making a difference. I am planning to do specific posts for every capital city where I will advise you where to buy furs and in which shops. Wherever I go believe me I know them.
When I go to a capital or in an unfamiliar city and I see a furrier I feel immediately at home =) and then the funny thing is that nearly all the furriers know me so they welcome me with open arms =)
I could list the best furriers of Vienna, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Doha, Dubai, New York, Miami, Milan, Turin (All over Italy I think), Berlin Moscow, Saint Petersburg, St Mortiz and many more… (For example in China there are extremely luxurious shops, furriers that in Italy you can only dream of that seeing, furs made only with the top lots). Top Lot means the lots of the most beautiful and costly skins of the fur auctions. Here is an interview I did with Ms Fang the owner of one of the most important luxury fur shop of China =)
Here some example of post I did about where you can buy furs:
- Where to buy fur coat in Milan.
- Where to shop furs in Paris (I love this post).
- Buy furs in New York (I must admit I love also this post It remanned me an amazing experience during New York Fashion Week).
Last but not least,
How to keep and maintain furs
They must be kept clean and stored in a cool place: always.
How to clean your furs:
If you have to do a deep clean take it to a tanner that is a person who cleans furs. If you have to do a light clean you can comb your fur with special brushes and clean the hair with specific sprays and towels. You can find everything you need on the web.
To conclude this elongated post: I have no idea who you are or what your style is so giving you advice on which fur to wear seems difficult but anyhow I would be happy to help you choose the best. If you want write to me please do firstname.lastname@example.org. For me this is a real passion so I promise I will answer within 2 working days.
If you’ve got this far I can only thank you.
Kisses Lady Fur