What are the elements to take into account when determining the true price of the fur you desire? What are the factors that determine the final price of the fur? These are the questions which we will try to answer.
There is a plethora of factors which influence the price of a fur coat or jacket - the type and quality of the pelt, its manufacturer’s label, country of origin, colour, etc… we will go over the main factors.
Type of pelt
The price of fur obviously depends on the type of pelt used, but it mainly depends on supply and demand of these pelts. In reality, everything depends on the selling price of batches of raw pelts which large companies (Saga Furs, NAFA, Kopenhagen Fur etc) undertake in different professional sales rooms- this happens several times a year.
The result of each of these sales will determine the price that the customer pays for the finished product. The determining factors which give the results of these auction sales are: the climate (mild winter or not), availability, supply and demand of different countries and so on. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, some pelts like that of the fox can be as expensive as traditionally “high end” pelts such as mink fur.
These days, pelts are mainly produced in Europe (63% of mink production and 70% of fox production in 6000 farms), in the United States, Canada and China. Fur farmers sell their stock to the very large companies- they alone hold the vast majority of the market. Although Chinese production is becoming increasing important, it only represents a small portion of the market, which is not even enough to supply China’s domestic market which is very fond of fur.
However, it is important to note that you can find everything in China- during the last MIFUR in Milan we found some very good quality pelts of Chinese origin which were buying sold at the same price (and higher) as pelts of European origin!! There was of course some traceability due to the opaqueness of the Chinese pelts, however with regards to quality a Chinese pelt will remain a Chinese pelt and your investment will suffer if you re-sell it.
As we have mentioned several times in this blog, in the world of fur manufacturer’s labels are very important. Each label corresponds to a set of very strict specifications which must match the fur that it belongs to. Certainty of high quality fur comes from having a fur with a manufacturer’s label. Each label has several levels of requirements and quality, of which each label has an increasing standard.
At Saga Furs there are the Superior, Royal and then Lumi Royal levels and at Kopenhagen Fur the levels go from Ivory to Purple, passing through Burgundy and Platinum. To date there have been no official Chinese manufacturer’s labels, and especially not a guarantee of the obligatory welfare and treatment of farmed animals (O.A. Label- Origin Assured), even if the Chinese authorities have indicated that the Chinese fur farmers follow a code of “good conduct”.
Buying a natural or a coloured fur will have a significant influence on the final price; be aware that, for the same model of the same quality, the difference in colour can have a varying effect on the final price. For example, a “Sapphire” (grey) colour mink jacket could be valued at 50% more than the same jacket in demi-buff.
Each colour type will have a different impact on the final price paid by the customer. In addition, some colours are also influenced by sales rooms- the example of Black Cross is very significant: its price has soared since it has been in very strong demand following the presentation of the 2015-2016 winter collections.
J. Mendel - Oscar de la Renta - Michael Kors
There are several manufacturing techniques in the world of fur (see our previous blogs), the most current techniques are the “full pelts”, hook and even stripe techniques. Other techniques exist amongst these but they are used a lot less often.
Contrary to public opinion, the “full pelts” technique is not the most expensive, this is because it is a technique of “simple” execution but it requires a lot of pelts; the hook technique is growing scarcer because it is a very technical and time-consuming technique, and the stripe technique uses less fur. So, the cost of production is automatically added to the final amount that you will pay for the product.
In this section we will address something which some professionals do not appreciate… it is important for you to know that today the purchase of a “new” fur should normally come from (exclusively) new pelts, but it could also be from recycled pelts.
Let’s face it, buying a “new” mink fur jacket at € 700 or less, made from “full pelts” or even the stripe technique, or a mink coat at less than € 1,200 is either Chinese or if it does have a manufacturer’s label, it could be made from recycled pelts. In actual fact, the price of one of these furs, if they were new, we not even come close to its real price!
Now, thanks to various techniques, it is possible to obtain a great result in terms of quality from recycled pelts- if they are not too old and if they have a manufacturer’s label; unfortunately you will have to pay a lot more for new fur compared to buying recycled fur. To end this section, be aware that some colours are very difficult to obtain with recycled pelts.
To conclude, there are various criteria which determine the price of a fur product. As with any purchase, being the proud owner of an item of fur means paying out; you will be able to do this with the greatest of happiness from the moment of purchase if you meet all of the set criteria and you have all the guarantees which come with your purchase. Finally, if you do find the fur of your dreams at a great price… go ahead, spoil yourself and enjoy.