Interview with @Alice_in_Furs: an important woman that works in a fur trade Fur Council of Canada

Hi fur lovers 

I had the honor of interviewing @Alive_in_Furs a business woman that works in a fur trade.

Enjoy the interview =)

1  )How are you? Tell me about you

About me.. I am a girly girl: I love magazines, quality trendy clothes (not fast-fashion!), shoes and cosmetics.
I am a Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Fur Council of Canada and I am very proud to be a member of the fur industry.
That’s me in a nutshell! 😉

2)When did your fur passion start ?

When I was finishing my fashion marketing degree, I had the chance to intern at the Fur Council of Canada. During my internship, I worked with Montreal fur designers, assisted at photoshoots and runway productions for NAFFEM (the only luxury outerwear show in North America) This is how I discovered the world of fur: it’s impossible to not fall in love with the softness and verstility of fur! I remember that as an intern at the Fur Council, I was impressed by the passion and the knowledge of the people of the industry. Knowledge about fur as a material, of course, but also about wildlife, professional animal care and ecology. That was seven years ago and today I still love working in this industry because it’s such a fascinating industry, there is a lot to learn (from different fur types to techniques)!

To be honest, I fell in love with this industry for two reasons: the first because fur is a unique luxurious and versatile material and the second reason is because of the people. They are the nicest, most generous people I have met.

Fur atelier video :The Art of Fur: Beautifully Canadian

3)Tell me about Beautifully Canadian

From a customer’s perspective, Canadian furs are associated with quality: fur is part of the Canadian heritage and culture. Inspired by that idea, the Fur Council created the Beautifully Canadian label which ensures that the fur piece carrying the tag is made with Canadian furs and manufactured in a Canadian fur atelier. It’s an authenticity tag that only Canadian designers are allowed to use for their Canadian-made furs. We also launched a new tag with a product-specific serial number. Customers can register their Beautifully Canadian fur coat and receive an authenticity certificate with information about the piece they bought.

Every year, we do a collective photoshoot with pieces from different fur manufacturers. That’s the  project I love the most!

( Our 2012-13 Beautifully Canadian collection: Beautifully Canadian Collection 2012-13)

4)What is your mission ? 

The Fur Council of Canada is a non-profit association that has 3 missions: to represent all sectors of the Canadian fur industry, to educate the public about the ethics of the fur trade and to promote Canadian-made furs.

Our educational programs include the Fur is Green websitewww.furisgreen.com) , which continiously receives a lot of positive comments and coverage from all around the world. The Fur Council also does some schools presentations about Ecology & the Fur Trade, as well as public relations.

Our fashion marketing projects include promoting the Beautifully Canadian brand in international markets: the collection is sold in the USA, but also in China and Russia! We also work with fashion design students from Marie-Victorin College in Montreal to create the Vicki-Y Collection. Students design small fur accessories for a younger generation (the “Y” generation) and the collection is presented at NAFFEM.

5)What do you think about internet and social networks? 


I love the opportunity we have as an industry to have a stronger voice on social media platforms! I can reply to questions and comments and have fur discussions with people who are genuinely interested in the industry. And it’s now so easy to spot trolls, so I don’t engage with them!
I also like that with social media, I can make new friends! 😉
Follow me on twitter @Alice_in_Furs, Facebook http://www.facebook.com/EcoFur and Pinteresthttp://pinterest.com/aliceINfurs/

6)On internet where can we  buy Beautifully Canadian collection? 

Not from our website, unfortunately!

7)What does fur mean for you? 

From my perspective, fur is a way of life for people working in farms and for trappers. Fur is living in harmony with nature. Respecting nature doesn’t mean NOT using it: it’s to make a responsible and sustainable use of it. Trappers are really stewards of the land.  If the environment is not healthy, they won’t have anything to trap.  Farmers treat their mink and fox with the outmost care.  If their animals are not happy and well-cared for, the pelts are the first to show it and their value will be much lower.  Fur is a natural material that should be treated with respect and love.

8)Which fur type have  come back in fashion and which are out? 

I think that that mink, which was associated with “grandma’s old fur coat” is now shown in totally modern silhouettes that any young woman would wear. Astrakhan, which was up till recently found mainly in vintage pieces, is back in fashion, in new exciting styles.
But, I don’t think any fur really goes out of fashion!

9)Do you have favorite fur skins ?

It’s really really hard to choose!! I have a soft spot for beaver: my first fur piece was a reversible sheared beaver vest made by a furrier that I love very much (Terry from Furko Canada) That vest was also in one of the first Beautifully Canadian photoshoots, so it’s really special to me. Sheared beaver is one of the most long-lasting furs, so soft, warm and versatile. And beaver fur is a part of our Canadian history, culture and heritage.

(picture of  “my vest finished”. Left: Terry showing the leather side of the vest. Right: Picture of the Beautifully Canadian campaign –  )

fur_coat_canadian_fur

 

I also love seal. My first (and only) fur jacket is black seal and I get so many compliments when I wear that coat! I feel that compared to other furs that can be a little bit bulky on my petite figure, seal fur can be very fitted which is flattering for my shape. I also love that my seal jacket has an Inuit inspiration: a pointy tip at the front, higher on the sides and an extra-large hood trimmed with fox (fun fact: Inuits women used to carry their babies in their fur hood to keep them close and warm). That jacket started my love story with seal fur: I bought seal mittens, a laptop bag with the matching wallet, boots for my sister-in-law (she LOVED them!) and more recently a clutch.

I love long-haired furs like fox, coyote and lynx, but I can’t wear them as a full look. Love them as a accent/detail for me. I also love mink, I dream of getting a sapphire mink vest!

 10)Have you felt the crisis ? 

For sure the luxury industry has been affected by the economic crisis: a fur coat (or a Birkin bag) is not exactly at the top of spending priorities when the economy is unstable. But I think that because of the  crisis, we see a new breed of consumers emerging who want to invest in  ”authentic luxury” and  long-lasting pieces. And I think that fur  is  a perfect example of a fashion item that will last for many years and will never go out of style. It’s a great investment because a fur piece can be restyled  over the years  to reflect trends.

I also think that  the crisis has  forced designers to think out  of  the box and  they now  mix fur with textiles, leathers and other materials creating  in that way more affordable items.  Many designers also use   fur   as  trim   or   detail and incorporate small fur items and accessories  (versus a full fur look) in their RTW collections,  making fur affordable to a much wider and economically diverse audience.

11)What has changed  in the fur trade compared  to 5/10 years ago? 

I think fur styles are now adapted to all modern wardrobes and lifestyles.  Fur is now lighter, is mixed with different materials and more colorful. It’s good, it makes fur more fun and accessible!

14)Please give me a simple sentence about fur .

Naturally beautiful.

 

Thanks a lot for your time

xoxox Miao Miao

Lady Fur

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