July 7, 2015
Global fur retail sales are estimated at $35.8 billion, according to an independent study conducted by the International Fur Federation and PwC Italy.
Fur has maintained its appeal for designers, and the interest is growing, with 500 brands using fur in their fall 2015 collections. While there has been some dissent from animal rights groups over the use of fur, for the time being luxury’s affection for the textile shows no signs of waning.
The study was conducted from 2011-2013, and includes figures from retail sales at traditional fur stores as well as department stores, designer boutiques, accessory stores and sporting goods stores.
The fur trade’s valuation at $40 billion puts it in the same league as the worldwide WiFi industry.
Traditional retail stores sold $1.7 billion of fur in 2013, which was a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Total fur sales in North America are estimated to have reached $4 billion in 2013.
The trade employs 1 million people worldwide, and fur farming is valued at $7.8 billion.
Blackglama ad image from fall 2014
Some fur producers are making it easier for consumers to purchase their apparel directly.
New York-based Pologeorgis Furs has announced plans to expand its Web presence to include ecommerce this coming fall.
The furrier, founded in 1960, has strong ties to the fashion industry with Balmain founder Pierre Balmain creating Pologeorgis’ first fur collection. Since then, Pologeorgis has worked with the likes of Michael Kors, Ralph Rucci and Alexander Wang, as it has developed its brand into a full service operation (see story).