The Year of Fake News!

The formation of PETA in 1980 initially brought awareness about animal cruelty, and slowly but surely, what was once the penultimate symbol of luxury and the mark of a well-dressed woman, has fallen from fashion’s prominence. So much so that nowadays, wearers of real fur are sometimes perceived as being “tone deaf” and not clued in to the current zeitgeist. FYI, San Francisco recently passed a citywide ban on fur sales, and Nor- way—a major producer of furs for fashion brands—plans to shut down its mink and fox farms by 2025.2018 will go down as The Year of Fake News. No, not that kind! One of the biggest fashion trends of this past year was the wholehearted embrace of fake fur by top designers from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Companies like Michael Kors, Gucci, Versace, Diane Von Furstenberg, Maison Margiela and Burberry joined the ranks of Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger and Vivienne Westwood, all of whom have previously banned the use of real fur from their runways. Other notable designers who have effectively used fake furs in past collections are Miuccia Prada, Dries Van Noten, Hussein Chalayan, Sonia Rykiel and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel (though he uses the real thing for Fendi).

Stella McCartney pre-fall 2015

Thanks to faux fur production today which combines the best of art and science, it is no longer looked down upon as a tacky and cheap substitution for the real thing (the ultimate ‘faux’ pas), but instead, is seen as hip, cool, and quite fashionable. Stella McCartney, a known advocate of cruelty-free fashion, prefers to call it “fur-free fur”. While she launched her eponymous line in 2002, it was not until her pre-fall 2015 presentation in New York that she actually showed faux furs. She was rather slow to warm up to their use and did so only after finding the high quality 100% modacrylic that was soft, plush, luxurious, and convincingly real enough to meet her approval. As she put it at the time, “people don’t care if it’s not the real thing if it looks and feels great”.

Quite frankly, some of the most standout outerwear designs on the runways for fall 2018 were made of faux fur, as exemplified by Clare Waight Keller in her second ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy. It was virtually impossible to tell that her coats were not the real thing, down to their appropriately astronomical price tags. The good news is that this is the time of the year when almost everything, including high end designer goods, is drastically reduced so if you were eyeing any of these pricey pieces, they can now probably be yours at 30% – 50% off.

The following 11 notable pieces are currently available:

Givenchy patchwork faux fur coat

Clare Waight Keller’s hazel and black oversized faux fur coat for Givenchy features a collarless design, side slit pockets, concealed front fastening and a graphic pattern, $2808 reduced from $4320. More info/purchase


This Givenchy longline coat is made from incredibly soft tufts of navy, white and beige faux fur, $3724 reduced from $5320. More info/purchase


Marking Christopher Bailey’s final collection for Burberry, this truly exceptional cape, worn by Cara Delevingne as she closed the Fall ’18 runway, was a tribute to the LGBTQ+ community. Made from plush faux fur in a rainbow of hues that the brand says are “a global symbol of inclusiveness and joy”, it is lined with their iconic heritage check and is now reduced from $5500 to $2250. More info/purchase

Gucci faux fur coat

This Gucci faux fur coat features the word Gucci retooled in a repetitive vertical pattern forming bold stripes in white, brown, and electric blue, $9300. More info/purchase

Stella McCartney Sugar Cane Coat

This oversized brown cotton blend “Sugar Cane” coat from Stella McCartney features a wide lapel, notched lapels, paneled long sleeves, hook & eye fastening, and a faux fur trim, $1098, reduced from $2195. More info/purchase

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou’s “Oates” belted hip length coat is in a caramel, black, and white diamond pattern, based on tiles from the Arts and Crafts movement, $560, reduced from $1120. More info/purchase

Mary Katrantzou faux fur

Mary Katrantzou’s  “Stokes” self-belted coat in plush black and white faux fur coat is printed with a striking geometric pattern reminiscent of Victorian tiles, $959 reduced from $1370. More info/purchase

Tibi faux fur

Tibi’s oversized bathrobe coat is a standout in fuzzy neon yellow faux fur, $486.50 reduced from
$695. More info/purchase

Stand Faux fur coat

This mid-length faux-fur coat from Stand features an oversized collar, press stud fastening, belted waist, side pockets, long sleeves, and a striking grid black and white grid pattern, $465. More info/purchase

Fankie Monello faux fur

Frankie Morello’s neon multicolored faux fur jacket features a concealed front fastening, cropped length and long sleeves, $192 reduced from $478. More info/purchase

No. 21

No. 21’s brown cotton blend faux fur long coat has an oversized collar, concealed front fastening, front flap pockets, dropped shoulders, long sleeves, a loose style and a straight hem, $1761 reduced from $2515. More info/purchase

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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