Fake Fuzz

Until last week, I had never worn fur before, real or fake. As a lifelong animal rights activist, fur has always awakened rather strong emotions in me. But as we worked on launching Vilda's The Fakeover campaign,  I researched the booming faux fur trend and found that, in this day and age, going fuzzy is no longer synonymous with cruelty. No big surprises there!

Last week when I left the house for the first time in my faux fur coat (from H&M; get it here!) I was surprised at how comfortable and confident I felt in it. The huge, glossy fur was an instant attention-grabber, but it also made me feel stylish and pulled together, even if my hair was messy, my make-up was smudged or my shoes were covered in splotches from the lovely London weather (seriously, enough rain already). Plus, the glamorous rockstar factor it adds is addictive.

Faux fur coat, H&M. Jeans, Zara. Ankle boots, Din Sko. Sweater, H&M. Backpack, Bessie.

Photos by David Camilli


  1. As a guy who isn't necessarily flamboyant, I wouldn't wear fur, real or fake. As a person sympathetic to the plight of animals, I am completely against anyone wearing real fur. My question for fake fur-wearers is, are you not concerned how many people like myself, who think you may be wearing a real fur, may be judging you? I'm no expert on distinguishing fake vs. real fur, nor do I want to be. On occasion, due various factors, it's fairly obvious to me if the garment is real or fake. However, this isn't always the case and frankly, since the wearing of fur is such a horrible choice, I tend to err on the side that any fur-like garment I see may in fact be the real thing. I'm not prone to confronting people either way, but the inner judgment is inescapable. I wouldn't feel confident walking around with the knowledge that people may be judging me in such a way, especially if it's just for the sake of "fashion."

    Also, I think endorsing the fashionable nature of garments that look like fur but are not, is tantamount to endorsing the aesthetic qualities of the real thing, as a fashionable garment for humans. In addition to the obvious cruelty of the fur industry, I always just thought it was a bit goofy that human beings would wrap themselves up in fuzzy animal skins and call it "chic." Fake fur only validates the aesthetic worth of real (again, as a garment, fur looks fantastic on the real owners!)

    For these two reasons I'm not quite sold on the merits and desirability of faux fur. I can see it as a cruelty free alternative to those who "just can't do without" real fur, but that's about it.


    1. John, this would be such an interesting question a few seasons ago, when most fur was real and the few-and-far-between faux versions were visibly "fake" and not very stylish. These days, with several seasons of faux fur BOOMING across the catwalks (the likes of Chanel, Prada and Armani have all used it) and 100% vegan designers such as Shrimps, Unreal Fur, Faux England, Impostor and more specialising in good-quality faux, it's not a given that "any fur-like garment you see may be the real thing".

      What should we then do about the rest of our wardrobes? My faux-leather shoes look like leather, my polyester dresses look and feel like silk (and last longer...) and my cotton and acrylic knit sweaters very much have a resemblance to wool, minus the sticky feeling. There is no escaping the fact that faux looks like real...BUT THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF IT. That we can use faux instead of real. That way, there's no need for the real deal. Do you understand how I mean?

      I don't agree that "fake fur only validates the aesthetic worth of real"...well, maybe in a way I do. Animals are, indeed, beautiful. And, as an animal activist I admire recently pointed out, copying nature is what humans do when inspired. This is especially true for fashion.

      My goal is to contribute towards a change in people's perceptions where "fur" is synonymous with "faux fur". Real fur shouldn't even exist. But I think it's difficult to achieve that by trying to deny its aesthetic appeal. Instead, I believe we should create and promote alternatives - that's the way to making the consumer realise they can have the cake and eat it too, by obtaining the look minus the cruelty. Easy.

  2. Sascha,

    Thanks so much for the informative and insightful response, I really appreciate it. It's great to hear that so many big designers are using fake fur now. Valuable information and a very positive trend.

    I don't think the average person is aware of designer trends however. I'm not even sure my father knows that fake fur exists! I'm sure my buddies have little awareness of such things as well. That said, I can't see any of these people being concerned about fur wearing so yeah, after some thought, I guess the high scrutiny for the faux fur wearer that I originally noted may be merely perceived, or at least exaggerated. Those who care probably have a little more heightened sense of the fact that many fur wearers are opting for the fake variety. Of course, it wouldn't be rash to assume the society lady emerging from an opera at the Met in wearing a full length black fur is wearing the real thing. A girl in a fun furry jacket at a bar in Hollywood would be much more of an open case. Again, I don't like being in a position to judge (and I loathe the thought of mistakenly giving a wearer of real fur a free pass), but that may be just more of a personal dilemma.

    Your analogy between fake fur, and leather, wool, etc., is accurate and informative. I think a fake leather jacket is a great analog to a fur, like the one you are wearing. I might be uncomfortable wearing a real good fake leather jacket but again, this is more about me personally, than anything else. Aside from footwear selection when wearing a suit, I like to distance myself from animal skins as much as possible in my attire, and this is simple with all the great canvas casual shoes and cotton and/or synthetic jackets and coats. I understand the lure of leather, and it's faux incarnation from a fashion perspective, but I just don't find any palpable benefits in my own life in taking part in any of it.

    Keep up the good work. It would be a great day when one can safely assume that nearly every young woman wearing a fashionable fur jacket is donning one that did not involve the slaughter of animals.


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