Young New York designers put ‘responsible’ fur on the runway

The presence of fur on the runway in recent autumn collections, highlights one key fact about the material, reports Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) in their latest edition: “Responsible fur is in demand – and for many consumers, irresistible.”

In the article, Peltry Statements WWD spotlights seven young New-York based designers, teaming up with Saga Furs to use fur in their collections, and shows how fur is making a strong statement this season driven by consumer demand for sustainable and natural products.

Today’s consumers want transparency

Talking to WWD, Charlie Ross, Head of Supply-chain Management and Sustainability at Saga Furs, said these and other designers who are turning to fur and incorporating it into their designs is testament to the material’s versatility – and sustainability. Ross said Saga furs is “a natural and sustainable fashion material that comes from a transparent supply chain and audited well-managed farms.”

Ross adds that “The use of Saga products provide confidence to the fashion world and leading designers because Saga furs can be traced back to the farm of origin – and this responds to the needs of consumers.”

Young designer, Emily Burnett, echoed this importance to consumers from the standpoint of brand affirmation, saying: “As a luxury womenswear designer, it’s important for the brand to create product from the highest quality materials that are traceable, ethically sourced, and sustainable.”

Sally LaPointe, whose collection was inspired by an Elvis 1968 comeback, was in agreement telling WWD: “Our partnership with Saga Furs ensures that the fur we use is sustainable and ethically sourced, which is important for us as a modern luxury brand.”

Sustainable durable and fashionable

Demand for fur in collections is also driven by a designer’s need for versatile, durable and fashionable materials. According to WWD, these young designers have introduced new and modern examples of the suppleness of fur and how it can be combined with different types of materials. Tia Matthews, Fashion Business Director of Saga Furs, described their approach as “bold, relevant and compelling.”

Young designer Romeo Hunte, self-described as pro fur, thanked Saga Furs for the opportunity “to learn so much about the techniques of working with fur accordingly and especially in blending furs with other fabrics such as leather, denim, wool and cotton.” The Brooklyn-raised designer’s new collection, described as a mix of street and glam, combines graffiti and street art with the formal touch that fur brings. Hunte added: “My knowledge about sustainability, regulations, farm certification, product traceability, animal welfare and the fiduciary responsibility of using fur are also very important to me.”

Attracting young consumers

Vivienne Hu’s design goal was to “promote luxury fur to the young generation.” A challenge that she approached by adding various colours to the fur “to make it vivid and unique” and “attractive to a large number of customers among young fur lovers.”

Hu told WWD that fur’s sustainability attributes were the reason behind collaborating with Saga Furs. “What I appreciate most about Saga Certified furs with WelFur inside is that the animal welfare is science-based,” Hu explained. “Because of the existence of such a helpful protocol, I have no worry about the conditions of fur from Saga Furs and can concentrate on my work without any concern,”

Fur the antidote to fast fashion

Celebrity streetwear designer Raul Lopez of Luar talked about fur as a fashion investment – an antidote to “fast fashion” and fake fur. “Fur is an investment that lasts for generations, and you see this especially in urban communities…I don’t want to make pieces that will be discarded into a landfill after a few seasons. I want to create items that create a legacy and are passed down to future generations.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, Lopez would see men and women hand down their jackets from generation to generation. “It was the equivalent of someone who was in the upper east side getting their grandmother’s inheritance. It’s really a special feeling to think that people will hand down these Luar pieces for generations to come.”

Additional designers showcasing fur this season include: knitwear designer, Victor Glemaud; celebrity designer LaQuan Smith; and Christopher Rogers.