We recently had the opportunity to ask Holly Bradford French, Senior Account Manager at Fabulous Furs, some insider questions about working with such an unconventional material as faux fur and the widespread trend that Fabulous Furs has started. Founded by Donna Salyers in 1989, Fabulous Furs designs 100% faux fur outerwear and accessories and we just love what they are doing! Check it out…
I love that Fabulous Furs works with all faux fur! Why did FF choose to use faux?
When the business started in 1989, there really weren’t many quality faux fur fabrics on the market and lots of real fur. As an animal lover, Donna felt the need to develop a beautiful alternative to real fur without harm to animals.
What’s trending? What are the most popular pieces?
Our Horizontal Fox Vest and our Gold Fox Hooded Coat were standouts last year. Expect to see some amazing color in our collection this year – check out my favorite new item – the Mongolian Jacket in Blush/Mauve at just $179 is very trend-forward and affordable. The most popular item in kids wear this year has got to be the Girl’s Pink Sequin Coat with matching hat.
When we think of fur, we think of warm winter coats. What are other products do you design?
We design a number of unique products for some of our “big-box” retailers. Things like wine bags, Christmas tree skirts, sleeping bags, spectator chairs, dog beds in addition to a full line of children’s products, accessories, apparel (sweaters are HOT this year) and a few items for men!
Faux fur is not a conventional material. Can you tell us how it is to work with it?
It is definitely not easy. Donna and our team of designers take a highly skilled, technical approach to the cut and fit of the designs and fabrication. Each fur is unique in texture, pile length and fluidity. Our highly trained cutters and sewers work with special tools and machines used specifically for fur. Each style is then pieced together by hand, one piece at a time…it is a conscious effort and labor of love.
Where does FF get inspiration for each season?
We are highly collaborative group of designers that are inspired by nature, runway trends, street style, fashion magazines and bloggers, but most importantly we are inspired by making ‘real’ women feel fabulous!
How did you get your start in the fashion industry? What’s your favorite part about it?
I got my start in this business when a good friend of mine asked me to come work for her family’s business. We had known each other for years and she knew that I was looking for a career change. I am a people person and her instincts were right about my selling capability. My favorite part of my job is travelling to shows to meet customers. It’s so great to introduce people to this line because people love that fact that it’s well made (60% of it in the US), it’s on trend and socially conscious because it’s made out of man-made materials and not real fur.
You’re a Senior Account Manager at Fabulous Furs! Can you tell us what you do?
Most of my day is selling. Talking to people on the phone about our line, understanding what their customers are like and offering product options that will sell well. I also travel quite a bit to shows in NY, Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, Toronto and High Point, NC to find new customers.
I see that your headquarters is in Kentucky. This is not an area we typically hear about for fashion. How did they start there? Donna grew up in the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area and raised her family here. As the business began to grow, she found that rent and wages were much more affordable here. Are there challenges of not being in a place like NYC? Not really anymore. With the advent of email and the ability to ship anywhere in the country within a few business days, we love being part of a small close-knit community.
The FF story is amazing! Can you tell us how FF went from a home business to being carried in several major retail stores like Saks and Lord & Taylor? Determination and perseverance.
It’s so awesome FF was featured in one of our favorite magazines, Teen Vogue! What celebs have you seen wearing Fabulous Furs?
Tell us what fashion means to you… Fashion means wearing things that make you feel good. When you feel good, you display a confidence that makes everyone take notice.
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