Thursday, February 17, 2011

NY POST: Designers get pelted by rising fur prices

Last Updated: 4:16 AM, February 17, 2011
Posted: 12:43 AM, February 17, 2011
Comments: 0
Fast-rising fur prices are threatening to take the skin off upscale fashion designers.
While soaring cotton prices sap profits across the clothing industry, luxury labels say a dramatic run-up in the price of mink and other fine furs has likewise forced them to scramble to maintain their margins as demand for furry fashions surges worldwide.
"People are ordering their fur earlier in the season than ever because they're afraid of what they'll have to pay if they wait until the following week," said Khajak Keledjian, CEO of Intermix, the trendy New York-based fashion boutique.
Designers could see their profits squeezed as they’re forced to pay as much as 50 percent more to trim their fashions and accessories with fine furs.
Designers could see their profits squeezed as they’re forced to pay as much as 50 percent more to trim their fashions and accessories with fine furs.
Shaking off a sluggish economy and years of protests from anti-fur activists, top designers at New York runway shows this week -- including Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan and Michael Kors -- have been stitching increasing amounts of mink, sable, beaver, chinchilla and muskrat into their frocks.
An even bigger driver of fur prices, according to industry insiders, is surging demand from China's fast-growing middle- and upper-class shoppers, who now account for more than 70 percent of global fur consumption.

"The Chinese love mink coats," said Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America. He notes that fur outerwear consumes far more pelts per item than the accessories and decorative trimmings that lately are overtaking Western fashion designs. The average price of some key varieties of mink has climbed as much as 20 percent during the past two months alone, according to data from a key global trading hub in Copenhagen.
Overall, fur prices will likely soar 15 percent to 20 percent this year, having risen 10 percent in 2010, said Steve Gold, marketing director for North American Fur Auctions.
Designers in search of the finest, rarest pelts say they're being forced to pay as much as 50 percent more than a year ago. New York designer Adrienne Landau, long renowned for her fur designs, said she's getting creative as suppliers demand 30 percent to 40 percent more for premium pelts like mink and sable.
"I don't compromise on the look, but I've managed to use smaller [fur] pieces in some designs," Landau told The Post. Likewise, she said she's making greater use of less-expensive furs, including coyote and grey fox.

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the typical lies that the Fur Information Council propogates - look how desirable and expensive fur is! BS They are not doing well - empirical NY area evidence: closing Lord and Taylor's fur salon, closing Steven Corn in Manhattan, closing Port Washington's fur salon. Both the economy and our activism are not their friends. However, they keep peddling stories like these about the RISING demand across the world.