Luxury Retailers Embrace Faux Fur (With Good Reason)


Prada faux fur boot

Look up “faux fur” on luxury department store Neiman Marcus’ web site, and not only are there a plethora of options, but the brands offered range from one high-end label to another (think Marc by Marc Jacobs, Etro, and Halston Heritage).  The prices range, too — from three to four digits.

One of Prada’s faux fur boot options for Fall 2011.

What’s the impetus for design houses like these to embrace their faux side?  Well, to start, $780 fake fur Prada boots are a bargain compared to, say, an almost-$10,000 J. Mendel fur stole.   And even more importantly, those boots, faux or no, still say “Prada.”  As myriad high-end brands, from Rebecca Taylor to Juicy Couture, [Ed. note -- Juicy Couture is owned by Liz Claiborne Inc., the sponsor of this site] begin to offer faux options to replace both fur and leather, the  association of faux with fast-fashion is melting away.

Juicy Couture is offering a jacket in faux rabbit fur this season.

For labels, using synthetics accomplishes two goals: 1) it slashes raw material costs (and as those rise across the board, this is a major feat) and 2) it’s PETA-friendly (not to mention friendly to the animals themselves).  At no detriment to her upscale image, designer Stella McCartney has made her anti-fur and anti-leather stance clear for years. But she doesn’t have to sacrifice on style or aesthetic by eliminating all fur/leather looks from her lines — she can simply go faux. Other big names, like Guess and Club Monaco, are also offering faux leather pants and jackets this season.

Now that so many prominent fashion houses are designing with these less expensive, socially-responsible materials, does that raise your esteem for their image?  Or had you previously embraced them as a kinder (and somewhat cheaper) way to sport the look?


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