Throughout the history of fur fashion there were a lot of different opinions. Some people called this an act of cruelty, but a long history of this material showed how practical, so as fashionable, it could be. We can’t say if wearing fur is only barbarism, because mankind survived coldest winters just because of it. In those days it was not a trend, but an issue of comfort and practicality.
Sociocultural and economical meaning, or a trade of fashion and politics
Whole fashion history depended on sociocultural and economic development. At first trading fur as well as clothes, textiles and etc. for food, was an act of practicality. But as years pass the profound role of fur trade started shaping cultures and after a while fur fashion was something unquestionable. In the Middle-ages wearing fur was a reflection of one’s status and wealth. For a long time this warmest material had a limited accessibility, but unsurprisingly with France influence on fashion, fur became the most important trade. In this new economic climate some new tribes emerged and some collapsed just because of fur trades. That’s why the warmest material became the key trade during colonialism in North America (Hundson Bay lads of fur trades). In other words fashion is, or was political.
Epicentre of fur trades
For a long period Paris ( french fur traders Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers) was an epicenter of European fur fashion trades, but in 19th century London started dominating. Meanwhile Americans distanced themselves from British influence. New fur companies were founded, both in Europe and other the Atlantic. French, Americans and British tried to monopolies the fur market, but they kicked natives out of this games. In the beginning fur was tribal, practical and primitive, later it became a major fashion and political trend. After a while fur wasn’t that necessary, because silk was on demand and the most desirable material in Europe.
From historical to contemporary fashionable
What is the role of fur fashion today? In the beginning this material symbolised practicality, warmth. It was a vital part of clothing in some colder regions. But now fur is transformed to non-tangible, luxurious and the key of societal position. No fur has more sociocultural purpose, then political and economic. Of course the modern fur trades keep on going, but it’s not the major implication. Fur clothing became significantly symbolic and nostalgic. It has a long and difficult history that is why fur prices remains high. It is a product of elitism, good taste and the most unique material of clothing. Some may say its barbarism, but our ancestor wouldn’t have survived coldest winters without warmth and practicality of fur. That is why fur is still the warmest material.