Fur flies in Montreal

The bastion of fashion in Canada is in the middle of a fight between furriers and those who represent them.

The Montreal Gazette reports that after the end of the North American Fur and Fashion Exhibition Montreal (NAFFEM) two rival trade shows have started up, and it’s driving a wedge through the industry.

“On one side is the Fur Council of Canada and its long-time executive vice-president, Alan Herscovici, which ran NAFFEM for 31 years before reinventing the trade show this season as StyleLab, targeting luxury boutiques as fur is increasingly integrated into fashion collections,” wrote Gazette Style Editor Eva Friede. “On the other side is Mitch Fazekas of Mitchie’s Matchings, a fur accessories company, who, working with partners, is rolling out the Outerwear Extravaganza Sunday in Montreal. Last year, Fazekas helped organize a trade show in Chicago to rival NAFFEM, drawing away furriers and retailers from Montreal and beyond.”

While we’re not wiping away any tears after learning the fur industry is struggling, we do find a lot of interesting facts presented in this article, such as:

  • The amount of raw fur products exported has grown, but the amount of finished products has plummeted since the 1980s;
  • The Fur Council of Canada gets government subsidies for fur export programs; and,
  • Attendance to fur trade shows have been declining steadily, with the major participants being representatives from Russia and China.

The reason the industry needed a new show is that interest was waning, the mood was dire and exhibitors weren’t attending. Now there is clear infighting as to what is the right direction to go – a sign that they’re desperate.

There is still a long road ahead to protect Canada’s fur-bearing animals. But it is also hopeful to learn that the industry itself is seeing the changing attitudes of Canadians.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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