Bonjour mes amies! By no means is this post to shame anyone that is pro or anti-fur. It is simply my experience and sentiments on the subject.
As une petite fille, like most kids, I didn’t know much about money. I did, however, know that we didn’t have much. While I didn’t know the cost of anything outside of penny candies, there were certain things that I knew looked like money.
While thrifting avec ma grand mère, I would use the $.75 that she gave me to buy vintage Architectural Digest, Town & County and Vogue magazines. I’d flip the pages looking at the furs adorning the shoulders of fabuleux women as their coats sometimes dragged the floor. I’d see those brown hard cases avec le letters “L V” sketched into them, and that too looked like money through mes petits yeux.
As une petite fille, I knew that one day I would be one of those women with a closet full of furs. I’d have a fur for the market, a fur for the theater, a fur for travel (I’m still wanting those L V trunks) and finally a fur to wear to dinner.
When I moved to Milan, Italy to study fashion design one of my many flatmates was a pretty wealthy girl from the Midwest. One day as we, correction she shopped, and I just touched every expensive piece in the boutique, I spotted a full-length fur.
I audibly gasped! “If I could afford this coat, I would wear it every single day of my life.” I said to mon amie et the stunningly chic Milanese sales associate.
“You don’t have a mink? She asked with concern in her tone.
“I can give you one of mine when we get back to the States.” She added while not taking her eyes off of the crimson scarf she planned to purchase. If you’ve ever watched any of my Instagram stories (videos that delete in 24hrs) or vlogs, s’il vous plaît take the liberty to insert my blank stare here.
“Like to have for the night?” I asked throughly confused.
“My family has a mink farm, and my Granddad thinks it’s funny to gift us furs every Christmas.” She chuckled.
As the holidays approached and I did not have money to return home to my family, she was gracious enough to invite me to spend the holiday with her on no other than the mink farm.
When we arrived and shortly thereafter being introduced to her family, mon amie not only showed me her fur collection but the collection of her mother, her grandmothers, and her dad’s trés, trés extensive fur accessories. Which I was EXTREMELY impressed with.
In true city girl fashion, I never once asked to have a tour of the actual mink farm. But on the third day mon amie’s grand mère suggested I do so.
It had never crossed my mind that I never knew what a mink looked like. Again I am an authentic city girl; there are very few animals in the city. We have cats, we have dogs, we have pigeons, and then there are rodents.
Before the tour, I was asked to “suit up.” Wearing a plastic covering ensures no outside dirt enters into the barn. I must admit I was extremely creeped out when I first saw them. Again I am a city girl, and anything tiny, that crawls and isn’t not a cat or dog creeps me out. But after spending some time in the barn, I really saw how adorable they were.
The next day without being asked, I suggested we go to the barn and check on the minks. I’d grown pretty fond of one that I lovingly named “Weasel” (truly I have no idea if that was the one I named, they all looked similar); by my last night there, I felt myself attached. As we were packing to head back to uni, mon amie asked me which of her mink jackets would I prefer.
As excited as I was initially to receive a full-length mink, the thought of wearing ancestors of mon petit “Weasel” made me so sad. I decided to forgo the mink, and at that time, I honestly thought that I’d made a lifelong decision never to wear fur.
But in true human fashion, out of sight, out of mind. Mere months later, I found the cheapest fur I could afford at a vintage market, and I fell in love.
I do not shame anyone who wears furs because I would be the biggest hypocrite. Over the years, I have amassed a pretty extensive fur collection. I will say, that I feel as though I am practicing the most “ethical” fur-wearing approach.
Not everyone agrees that wearing vintage fur is ethical. For so long, I assumed that doing so gave me a wholesome fur lover pass. No, many people still believe that even vintage and pre-loved furs are not ethical because the promote wearing fur as fashion, thus creating the urge to buy new ones because there are only so many vintage furs in circulation.
As with most things in life mes amies, you cannot please everyone. Do what feels honest and true to you. I absolutely adore my vintage fur coats and for the foreseeable future, I don’t see myself parting with them.
Because pour moi vintage fur is a sustainable, ethical and last but not least affordable. La petite fille dans moi has achieved her dreams of having a fur for the market, a fur for the theater, a fur for travel and a fur to wear to dinner all while not breaking the bank.
If you’d like to learn more about shopping for vintage furs, what to look for and best pricing (because it is truly an art form) be certain to leave me a message below.
Ciao for now 💋