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Is Fur Back In? Winter’s Returning Outerwear Trend

Discover the revival of fur fashion!

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Real animal fur coats and accessories have been out of trend for the last decade, but according to social media and many Fall/Winter 2023 runway shows, fur is back and here to stay. 

Fall/Winter 2023

Brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, and Loewe have featured stunning furs and hides in their Fall/Winter 2023 runway shows this past February. Both faux and real furs, shearling, and hides were featured in different styles and colors, all making a statement. 

stella mccartney and loewe fur and cowhide
Cowhide Patterned fur by Stella McCartney (left) and Loewe (right) Credit: Vogue Runway

Stella McCartney and Loewe took a traditional approach of spotlighting the natural colors and patterns of cowhide dresses and luxurious broad fur coats. Loewe’s runway features a two-toned floor-length fur coat and three different imitation cowhide dresses, patterned to appear both as cowhide as well as a trench coat.

stella mccartney fall 2023 fur
Credit: Vogue Runway

Stella McCartney’s ready-to-wear collection featured several floor-length and mid-length furs in a Dalmatian pattern, along with two fuzzy cowhide caped dresses. The real show stunner was towards the end of the show, where McCartney presented a floor-length crimson coat paired with a pair of fluffy furred shoes.

gucci fall 2023 fur
Credit: Vogue Runway

Unsurprisingly, Gucci took a bolder route to their presentation of furs. The third look in their Fall 2023 ready-to-wear collection was a floor-length two-toned lilac and cream collarless coat paired with black fur-bottomed sandals. 

gucci fur fall 2023
Credit: Vogue Runway

The bold looks continued with a neon blue Sherpa mini dress and a wool trench coat fitted with neon pink cuffs with a mint green collar. The showstoppers of this collection came towards the end, with a wool coat fitted with large red plumes of fur on the collar, as well as a sleek, bright pink buttonless coat. 

Social Media Popularity

Not only has the runway predicted the resurgence of both natural and unnatural fur colors, but so has social media. Influencers on TikTok and X have been posting about pulling out their vintage and new fur coats this winter. A post made by user @churchofsyl that amassed over one million views features an image of Sarah Jessica Parker playing Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City, wearing a luxurious fur coat. 

Another icon who recently stepped out in fur is Nicki Minaj. The rapper was spotted wearing a large hooded pink fur coat from Alexandre Vauthier to greet fans after the release of her newest album, Pink Friday 2

Another instance of fur in media we have seen in the past year is Ken’s “bad-boy” look in Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig. Ken, played by Ryan Gosling famously dons a large white floor-length fur coat and boxing gloves in the latter half of the movie. Jaqueline Durran, the costume designer for the Barbie movie stated in an interview with Vogue that the look was inspired by an outfit made famous by Sylvester Stalone in the 1970s and 1980s. Stallone notably had an ample fur collection that he would frequently style at the beginning of his career.

Shopping for Ethically Sourced Fur

Credit: Levinsky Furs

A caveat of buying real animal fur from a new brand is that it often doesn’t come from ethical sources. The fur trade has vehemently been struck down by organizations such as PETA and the Fur Free Society. However, some companies are transparent about how and where they source their fur. One company, Levinsky Furs, based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, only sources their fur from Inuit hunters in Greenland as well as from auction houses that the government mandates to have suitable living conditions for their animals.

Rabbit fur coat Credit: Levinsky Furs

One of the most ethically sourced furs one can buy is rabbit fur. According to Levinsky Furs, rabbits are bred specifically for human consumption, so the fur is considered a leftover product. Using the fur to create products ensures that none of the animals has gone to waste. 

seal fur mittens
Seal skin mittens by April Allen Store Credit: Proudly Indigenous Crafts and Design

Another way to ethically purchase fur is to support Indigenous artists and communities. Proudly Indigenous Crafts and Designs is an organization that allows several Indigenous artists to sell their seal fur and seal leather products. The seal hunt has been crucial for Inuit people for thousands of years. According to the company:

Every part of the animal was relied upon: the pelt for warm, waterproof clothing, boots, and shelter; the leather and sinew for harnesses; fat/oil for heat, light and its great health benefits; and meat to feed themselves.

Proudly Indigenous Crafts and Designs

All of the revenue from their products has been used to purchase alternative food and shelter as well as sustain families, purchase hunting equipment, and more. 

sustainable faux fur coat maison alta
Jeanne Reversible coat by Maison Aita. Credit: Maison Aita

If you still want to participate in the fur trend, but real fur isn’t for you, there are alternatives, albeit not many of them sustainable. Faux fur can be misleading. Most luxury and fast fashion brands that use faux fur are using plastic or other man-made materials that will take hundreds of years to break down. Brands such as Maison Aita, Stella McCartney, Issy London, and Culthread are all brands that use recycled products as well as plants to create their fur coats and accessories. 

Bioprinted Furoid prototype showing hair graft and skin scaffold. Credit: Geneus Biotech

LVMH and Fendi have partnered with The Furoid Project, an initiative to create lab-grown animal fur made from keratin. The goal of the project is to end the use of living animals in the production of fur and wool and to dominate the market by 2030.

When in doubt, buy vintage and secondhand! There is an incredible variety of coats and accessories available on Etsy, eBay, DePop, and even your local thrift store or boutique. Not only can you support independent businesses, but you can prevent vintage fur from ending up in the landfill. 

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