Are designers freaking out?
Not really. Over the last year numerous brands have jumped on the no-fur bandwagon, including Stella McCartney, Gucci, Versace, Coach, Chanel, Prada, Burberry, Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford. H&M, which is not exactly a haven of mink coats, has said it will no longer use mohair. One of the few holdouts is Fendi, which began life as a fur house, still has five outlets in California that sell fur and even has “haute fourrure” fashion shows once a year during couture. (Fendi did not respond to requests for comment on the ban.)
Still, all of this just-say-no-to-fur is not quite the sacrifice it sounds, since for many brands fur makes up a very small percentage of sales (at Coach, for example, fur accounted for less than 1 percent of its business). In California, it was an especially tiny percentage.
This is true for department stores, too. Saks does not even have a dedicated fur salon in its California stores. On the other hand, fur is still popular in Miami. Cameron Silver of the vintage store Decades said in an email that while there was “a waning interest” in fur in California, “preloved fur pieces” tend to be the first to sell at trunk shows across the country.
“I was just in Chattanooga, and on a 99-degree day two 1980s-era fur jackets sold within minutes,” he said. So geography does play a role.
Why is all this happening now?
The anti-fur movement has been growing for a while, but between the general conversation about the climate crisis, a raft of books like “Eating Animals,” by Jonathan Safran Foer, and the sense that fur feels very last century, and contrary to millennial value systems, consumer sentiment has begun to swing against it. And whither consumers, so, too, those that sell to them.