- Tips for buying a fur coat
- The importance of the Brand
- How to take care of your fur coat
- Furs and Environment
TIPS FOR BUYING A FUR COAT
There are some golden rules to follow when buying a fur item.
There are many types of fur: their specific characteristics will suit different uses, different personalities and different budgets.
Fashion plays an important role when choosing a fur coat: fashionable colours are often used. Obviously they do not exist in nature but are obtained through the tanning process. It is important to highlight the fact that these interventions do not damage either the resistance or the quality of the fur that therefore maintains its original characteristics. In recent years processing techniques have also had an important role in characterizing a fur coat: mixes of different furs (e.g. fox with kidassia or with mourmasky, mongolia, etc.) are often combined on a fabric or a silk basis, making garments extremely light and rendering them bouffant and voluminous without jeopardizing their wearability.
In recent years Kid or xiangao furs have been often used instead of swakara: their pelt is always rather sheared, ideal for styles that require a flexible material to be worked like a fabric.
Minks have different origins, coming from farms all over the world. Depending on its origin the mink’s fur can be quite thick but this does not affect the quality of the mink. The most precious (also expensive) minks are the so-called Blackglama (black-furred) whose fleece has nearly sheared fur (“short nap” = short fur) that originate from the Great Lakes region (USA-Canada).
Mink processing can be of different types: vertical or horizontal whole skins (the entire skin is used), “side and back” (side and back skins are combined to accentuate the horizontal pattern), stranding (generally, it is vertical and this method is a classical mink processing that has been used from the beginning of the century; it is a complex process that requires great competence and experience on the part of the cutter).
Sable can be considered the most highly valued fur: the best are obviously the Russian Sable (“Sobol”) and the Canadian (also known as marten that is less precious). The processing in this case can be also made with entire skins or side & back horizontal skins. In horizontal processing fur stripes are often combined with suede or python inserts to give lightness and softness to the garment itself. The classic sable colour is the so-called “ingrigito” – dark brown with slightly white tipped fur that has a silver effect. However, different dyings bring us to have lighter and golden shades (such as taupe, gold, powder, etc.).
Other precious materials are the Russian lynx where the darker parts (back and sides) are discarded with a skilful workmanship to keep the white spotted part only (belly), and chinchilla with a very soft black & white fleece whose only fault is to have a very thin skin that is therefore extremely delicate and require great care while using it to avoid tearing or lacerations.
A fur coat should be purchased in a trusted boutique that can give you guarantees thanks to its commercial reliability. It is always advisable to select a well-known and esteemed brand..
It is also important to have a maximum choice and a vast selection, and not to become tired of trying on and on to finally make the right choice. It is advisable to ask for a “Guarantee Certificate” and to be sure that even after the purchase, you will be assisted by the boutique staff in case your fur garment needs to be repaired or cleaned.
But what price can be the right one? Sometimes one may happen to see and try on items that look the same but have different prices. By nature, two furs, similar in appearance, are never identical. You must then know that the price construction of a fur coat is affected by several factors: the quality of the skins, the tanning, shades of colour, the styling, trimmings and processing techniques. It is unnecessary to repeat that the value of the “made in Italy” techniques and the signature of a prestigious brand cannot be compared with other producers or unknown and improvised trademarks. Sometimes it is a matter of small details, that are often imperceptible and not taken into consideration, but an excessively low price can hide some traps and prove to be a bad purchase in the future.
THE BRAND MAKES A DIFFERENCE
It is needless to highlight the importance of the Brand that is the true signature of a fur garment. Nowadays, increasingly more than in the past, a person who buys a fur item looks for exclusivity, styling and sophistication. To select a Brand means to seek for a sense of belonging to a world of fashion, to an elitist lifestyle. It means to “stand out” from the others. It is like with jewels: a Cartier or Bulgari ring has a different value from another similar unbranded one. The same happens with furs – what appears to be a simple label, becomes the seal of a stylistic and qualitative research which is at the origin of each product.
Nowadays, too often Italian brands improvise and appear in the market from nowhere, asserting a history and a background that they do not have. It is very easy to check it out: totally unknown in Italy, they have been created especially for a foreign market that, however, is getting increasingly more attentive and selective and that does not therefore confuse the real prestige of a brand over another.
The Annabella brand has been surely the most famous fur brand in Italy since 1957. From a recent survey among Italian women a “brand awareness” of 95% has emerged. In fact, we can affirm that “Annabella” has made the history of the Italian furs, not least for having linked its name to international star system celebrities such as Sophia Loren and Alain Delon.
The exclusivity lies in the fact that Annabella, in Italy, has a unique store in the historical Atelier in Pavia, whereas, abroad the brand is distributed only in the best fur stores and luxury boutiques. Over the years it has been able to renew its classic high-end tradition of furs, also by presenting collections that target younger customers with a fashion and trendy content. The “Annabella” trademark is so well known that it is often the subject of counterfeiting and/or imitations (see the example of the “Annabella” label). Distrust the originality of the item if it is not sold by official retailers, authorized by the Annabella Maison.
SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR FUR COAT
Like all luxury products, the fur item is a precious product and should be kept and used with care: here are some useful tips how to take care of your fur coat during the year:
When you come back home, remember to hang the coat on a hanger with rounded shoulders and to keep it in a dry, cool and ventilated place.
When you happen to have the coat wet, shake it well but do not brush it, make sure not to dry it next to heat sources (the skin could dry out), do not expose it to direct sunlight (it could lead to the change of colour).
When you sit down (e.g. in the car), remember to unbutton the coat, in this way you will avoid unnecessary skin tensions; it is advisable to avoid constant use of shoulder bags and belts as they could damage the fur. Remember that the skin is a very important part of a fur coat: avoid putting some perfume on it, it may dry out, do not iron the lining at home, you will damage the skin irreparably.
You can leave your fur coat to experienced hands of a custody service that guarantee you full control of rooms in terms of temperature, humidity and repellent systems.
If you prefer to keep it at home, it is important to follow some simple instructions: you should hang it in your wardrobe as a normal coat making sure not to cover it with any cloth, the fur should transpire. Avoid humid rooms. Put moth repellents at the bottom of the wardrobe, changing it every month. Once a month remember to open the wardrobe, leaving it open for the whole day in order to assure the air exchange.
FURS AND ENVIRONMENT: THE WASHINGTON CONVENTION
The Pellicceria Annabella company uses only the skins that are purchased at auctions and in the international markets and that are declared marketable by the Washington Convention. Since 1973 the Washington Convention, in fact, has been protecting and regulating the trade of flora and fauna species that are threatened of extinction. Its aim is to preserve them and to ensure an eco-friendly use. Nowadays, 174 countries adhere to this convention.