FUR: FRIEND OR FOE

Fur Bag and Shoe Trend

Frances Valentine Maribou Feather Bag, Anya Hindmarch Egg Slide

There is an infamous scene in The Devil Wears Prada, where Meryl Streep snidely educates Anne Hathaway’s character on the origins of a cerulean blue belt, describing exactly how the very specific shade made it from runway to bargain bin. It was breathtakingly condescending, yet incredibly truthful. Trends, materials, prints, and colors have a way of trickling down from the runway to the pieces most of us end up wearing everyday. Case in point: fur. It's also currently trending, but not in a traditional form. Rather than fur coats and stoles, fur is appearing on shoes and bags.

Ever since Céline sent furry Birkenstocks down the runway in 2014 and Gucci’s fur-lined backless loafers became cult items a couple of seasons later, fur has become a go-to material for shoes. Brother Vellies founder Aurora James found fame through her furry babouche slides and sandals decorated with a slash of pastel pink mink, and Rihanna’s Fenty Puma furry pool slides have become one of the most popular items from her collaboration with the sportswear brand. Then there is Frances Valentine, the New York-based brand whose mink sandals and heels combine the luxe material with suede and soft pastel hues. They also offer spectacularly fluffy mini marabou feather bags. Anya Hindmarch’s mink pool slides, created in splashy primary colors and quirky prints like egg yolks and smiley faces have been some of the best selling styles for the brand. And in addition to younger brands looking to compete with current trends are the established labels. The queen of exotics, Nancy Gonzalez added mink straps and strips of fur to the front of exotic skinned bags, and the front flap of Jason Wu’s Diane bag is finished in rabbit fur.

There is much to be debate in fashion—what sustainable practices really mean, how the industry can improve working conditions, the best ways to update processes for a more productive workflow. But fur remains a divisive topic. Yoox Net-a-Porter recently announced it would no longer sell fur on its sites, Stella McCartney is an avid anti-fur supporter and faux has never been as chic as it is now thanks to advances in the technology that allows producers to create faux fur fabric that directly mimics the feel and movement of the real thing. On the flip side, fur is still a big seller for department stores and brands alike as consumers continue to ask for it in all its iterations. In fact, we’ve recently noticed a fur pool slide trend that seems to be sweeping New York this summer. While a fur coat may no longer be as en vogue as it once was, fur details are an easy way to add a little luxuriousness to an otherwise simple piece.