Despite outraged backlash from animal advocates, many celebrities and models are again wearing fur -- even some, like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, who pledged that they'd never wear fur again. Big-name designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Tom Ford (despite a plea from fellow designer John Bartlett to stop using fur) have all been pushing the material for this year's spring fashion season. Though chains like H&M, Topshop and Calvin Klein have banned fur, it may be seeing a renaissance, the Guardian reports.
This month the biggest auction of furs ever seen in the industry will take place in Helsinki, when dealers and designers will be vying for 11 million mink pelts, two million fox and one million assorted wild animal furs. Prices are expected to reach record levels. Mark Oaten, chief executive of the International Fur Trade Federation, says that demand for fur is so huge that the industry is suffering a desperate skills shortage. According to Oaten, a younger generation has discovered fur, while recent technological advances mean that the industry can do far more with fur in terms of mixing it with other fabrics, thinning it and dyeing it.
"You will always get celebrities and designers using fur to provoke controversy, but it doesn't translate to what people are wearing on the streets," said Ben Williamson, a press officer at PETA. "An RSPCA survey in 2011 showed that 95% of British people would not wear fur."