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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lured by the Luxuriant

One of the most interesting things about New York City, is that in spite of the myriad of groups and individuals who are militant regarding so many issues, there is still tremendous tolerance.
The sale and wearing of fur is a hotly debated and highly contentious matter, yet it is very surprising that an individual can sell or wear furs in Manhattan and survive unscathed.

On Broadway and Spring Street, I witnessed an unusual occurrence - the sale of genuine vintage furs on the street. The vendors informed me that these were purchased from a theater company which had gone out of business. The subject of used or vintage furs is also debated - some feel the damage has been done, so why not recycle and use the furs? Others feel that wearing of fur of any type sends the wrong message, that fur is OK - how would others know that you wear a fur for that reason?

The prices ranged in the low hundreds for furs which would have originally cost in the low thousands. There was a flurry of interest and activity with women trying on furs. Always prepared and equipped with the necessary sales accoutrement, this street vendor also had a full length mirror. One coat being tried on had a tear in the stitching. No worry here either - the vendor said he had sewing materials and could easily repair it.

I brushed my hand against a number of these coats - nothing feels so extraordinarily luxuriant as genuine fur. The white fox was particularly beautiful. However, I can never fully "enjoy" the experience of fur, feeling a bit like Cruella de Vil. Too many protests, anti-fur campaigns and awareness of how they got to that rack makes the whole thing feel like the epitome of fetishistic self-indulgence. Much like a chocoholic looking to control their intake, if you have misgivings about furs, best to stay away. Otherwise I can assure you, you will be Lured by the Luxuriant...

Other Stories about Furs: Barbie in Furs, Surrounded by Fur.


Karen said...

I'd have to cross the street, I'm VERY lured by the luxuriant. I'm sure at some point the vendor would ask me to stop petting them. My Grandfather had to hunt and sell furs in the Depression to help support his family and my ancestors would not have survived in Canada without fur. I've lived and worked in the far North of Canada and can honestly say that fur still beats any tech fabric out there. I do respect people with other views on the subject as well though. They have compelling arguments too.

Brian Dubé said...

Karen - Quite interesting. And yes, on the occasions I have had to try on a fur, the insulation is nothing short of amazing.

Beatrice B. said...

I'll check it out next time I'm there. Thanks for the advice :)

Roger_Paw said...

Yes, I'm vegan so the thought of wearing fur makes me sad.

Paul said...

Whilst I am a meat eater I am with you on this issue Brian. Yes the fox fur looks every bit luxurious, I really could not imagine the idea that it could be worn. Here in the city of Leeds in Yorkshire, when I first arrived perhaps 25 years back there were 3 or 4 stores selling furs, they have all gone.