My second study tour trip with Kent State was nothing short of fabulous.
On this NYC adventure, we ventured to Fox Unlimited, a furrier that designs and producers fur pieces for several designer labels, including Elizabeth and James, Rebecca Minkoff, DVF, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Theory, Burberry, Michael Kors and Neiman Marcus private label.
As a lover of al things fluffy, I was all-too eager to model each of the gorgeous garments owners Marvin and Jeff were showing to the class. As I moved from knitted fox vest to long-haired rabbit coat to chinchilla shroud, they explained the detail process of how their business is organized.
Located in the fur district of the city, the duo takes trips to Finland five to six times a year to attend international fur auctions, where they buy Scandinavian and Saga furs. Clients from Russia, China, Turkey and other realms of the world bid on bundles of skins, with prices averaging at $200 for 200 skins, as an example. After they return for these auctions the team shows the furs to fashion brands, where they create the design that is then produced in the company’s production facilities in China. However, all sample creation in done in their NYC office and dyeing in a New Jersey facility.
Marvin explained that the season determines the quantity of skins bought at auction. In December/January auctions the team gets materials for samples, but by the next auction orders drive the amount of materials needed to be purchased. With designers wanting to put out products earlier and earlier each year, he noted that it was important to always be very close in estimated amounts if there is not already an order placed prior to going to auction.
While seeing the raw furs in production was a little gruesome, I loved the dress-up aspect of this field trip, and am regretting not purchasing fur earmuffs!