As Arctic air hovers over many states, our thoughts turn to fur. Fake fur. There’s been innovation aplenty in the fake fur universe, with improved fabrics that truly mimic the real thing. That innovation has been going on for awhile, Allison learned when she spotted a gorgeous “mink” 1950s swing coat with rolled cuffs as she was standing in line to pay for a purchase at Angel View Thrift Boutique downtown Palm Springs, CA.
She left her place in line and made a beeline to the coat. It was in mint condition, and the label’s typeface suggested it was vintage. At $24.99, a steal. She bought it, and a quick internet search turned up the intriguing story of George W. Borg, who owned a knitting mill that manufactured fabric for paint rollers. He created a synthetic plush pile that looked like fur, and branched out to supplying his “fur” to the military, under the Borgana label. Borgana coats became a sought-after fashion brand, and are highly collectible today. Most sell for around $100, but we’ve seen some on eBay and Etsy for up to $1,000.
This coat was pressed into service at Allison’s daughter’s outdoor wedding (it was freezing), and has a timeless style that will look good in another 60 years.
(For good background on the phenomenon of “fake fur” — and why the Federal Trade Commission shuns that name — the New York Times has an article from 1964 about the new popularity of ersatz furs: http://www.nytimes.com/1964/06/17/no-its-not-fur-but-it-looks-like-fur-and-a-lot-of-people-like-it.html?_r=1)
Not to rub it in to everyone dealing with frigid air, but we have a video of Reise Moore and Nora Kirkpatrick talking about thrifted fake furs as they swelter in 80 degree weather in Los Angeles. It’s on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/JItfMC4TWyY
We’ve found new examples in thrift stores (with tags intact) that are equally swoon-worthy. This short jacket set us back $4 at Desert Best Friends Closet in Palm Desert, and had an original price tag attached of $138.