Once upon a time wearing fur was a faux pas — at least in the West. But the stigma is receding quickly thanks to the Chinese. The International Fur Trade Federation has announced the value of the global fur market will be over $15 billion this year, compared with $9.1 billion in 2000.
“The growth in inland China is really what’s driving growth at the moment and we think for the next 10 years or so that will continue to rise,” IFTF Chief Executive Mark Oaten said. “There are 90 cities in China that buy as much fur as New York.”
Fashion designers are once again making exceptions and using the material in their designs. Ottavio Missoni is not ashamed to use fur; he sees it as a primordial right. “If you look at the origins of man, what were we wearing? Fur,” the founder of Italian fashion label Missoni said earlier in the year.
Vivienne Westwood okays the practice, too, but insists she sets limits. “I think it’s okay to use sheepskins because we eat sheep,” Westwood said. “But rhinos killed for their horns, tigers killed for their penises, that sort of thing is horrific.”
According to IFTF figures, even North American sales have increased by a third since anti-fur protest movements were at their peak in the 1990s.
image credit: missoni