Celebrities like Bella Hadid, Amy Adams, and Priyanka Chopra are bringing attention to faux fur created by designer Maya Reik. The 20-year-old Israeli designer says that animal-free fur is by far the top seller in her luxury brand, Mareik 1998. Prompted by the celebrity-boosted success, fashion news site WWD reports that Reik has launched a spin-off label named “I Am Furless.”
The “I Am Furless” collection currently has one item for sale – a limited edition jacquard scarf made from a polyester and acrylic-based faux fur. While furless, the scarf is not cruelty-free, as it is lined with silk, a material that, in most cases, can only be obtained by boiling silk worms alive in their cocoons.
“Sometimes it really affects sales and sometimes it just affects your followers on Instagram, Facebook and other social media. Sometimes they will buy completely different items because they come to your web site,” Reik told fashion news site WWD, speaking to the power of celebrity support in creating brand awareness.
Chopra had posted a photo of herself wearing one of Marei 1998’s faux fur coats, which are produced and handmade in Italy like the rest of her collection.
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Regardless of season, Reik offers faux fur, also called “eco-fur” on the website, often inspired by the Art Deco and Neo-Classical periods of art and fashion. Additional faux fur items offered by her label include a purse, a cape, and a long faux mink fur coat, modeled after the classic fur coat silhouettes worn by Silent Era film stars like Louise Brooks.
“The eco-furs that exist in the market today have an amazing feel and reflect the uncompromisingly high quality of Marei 1998. Therefore, going in the direction of solely using faux-fur felt natural and right for the label,” Reik told InStyle, speaking to her use of luxury animal-free fur.“The choice has proven itself correct when I see and hear clients touch the coats, bags, and dresses and have a hard time believing these pieces are made out of eco-fur.”
Reik’s label initially caught the attention of high-profile celebrities when Reik sent a few of her faux fur coats to Hadid, who shares a stylist with Chopra. Hadid posted about Marei 1998’s coats on Instagram, then Chopra wore one publicly, calling even more attention to the brand. A Marei stylist then got in touch with Adams, who added to Reik’s growing list of celebrity admirers.
Reik is not alone in embracing faux fur, once shunned by many top designers for being “cheap,” as a luxury alternative to a cruel fashion statement. Last month, British designer Stella McCartney launched a fur-free fur collection for the fall/winter ’18 season. Over the summer, Vogue Australia praised the emergence of faux fur fashion houses such as the NYC-based House of Fluff and Australia’s Unreal Fur. Many top designers, including Diane von Furstenberg, Burberry, DKNY and Donna Karan, and Michal Kors, have banned fur from future collections.
Some cities are also ruling fur out of the equation. Last month, Los Angeles became the largest U.S. city to ban the sale of fur, joining San Francisco, Berkeley, and West Hollywood.