GQ panel discussion / The Rise of Fur in Menswear


On June 10th, the concluding day of London Fashion Week Men’s SS20, the British Fur Federation and British GQ hosted a breakfast panel discussion at Claridge’s hotel discussing the rise of fur in menswear.

Rebecca Bradley London ricksacks and bears were on show to attendees.

A panel moderated by editor in chief of British GQ Dylan Jones, consisting of British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) Chairman Frank Zilberkweit, fashion designer Astrid Andersen, President of ‘Yves Salomon’, Yves Salomon, Copenhagen fashion brand ‘Les Deux’ founder Andreas Von Der Heide, and Central Saint Martin’s journalism graduate Alexandra Castle, engaged in political, social and environmental debates surrounding natural fur and its position in the fashion industry.

The panel kicked off with an engaging debate as to whether there can ever be an ethical or sustainable alternative to natural fur, given synthetic fur is fundamentally plastic. The discussion then homed in on today’s customers and their increasing demand for assurances on transparency and certification. The panel also debated the activities of animal rights groups and their effect, with media noise, on fur sales. Topics surrounding changes in millennials opinions and consumption habits and a rise of societal greenwashing and the real motives behind fashion brands going fur-free were also hotly discussed amongst the six panellists.

The debate then turned to the crux of the event – the rise of natural fur in menswear. Panellists identified the rise of ‘luxury’ in the menswear sector, the appetite for exclusivity and customization, as well as the rejection of fast fashion as being the main reasons behind the developing trend. Wrapping-up the debate, BFTA Chairman Frank highlighted that the growing demand for transparency from the fur trade will be met next year with the launch of IFF’s FURMARK certification programme; certifying furs from farms to consumers.

Listening to the educational conversations taking place amongst the panel was an esteemed guest list. This included Deputy Editor and Fashion Features Director at British Vogue Sarah Harris, British Fashion designer Osman, representatives from British GQ, Holland and Holland, Daxs, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols amongst others.

After an informative debate, the panellists and attendees had the opportunity to engage in side discussions.

On display during the event were a variety of displays highlighting trendy men’s fur fashion. This includes 6 mannequins featuring the designs from panellists; Astrid Andersen; Les Deux and Yves Salomon; and plinths showcasing the accessories from London-based designers Rebecca Bradley London; and Rachel London.

IFF’s and GQ’s breakfast panel did much to educate the influential British fashion scene, offering the fur trade an invaluable opportunity to debunk the many myths and highlight the many advantages of fur. All guests in attendance received a GQ goody-bag including the latest edition of British GQ, a copy of IFF’s Natural Fur brochure and FURMARK Brochure, and a gift by Oh! By Kopenhagen Fur.