|A model at Kopenhagen Fur's Beijing fashion show. [Provided to China Daily]|
On the runway, models draped in seal, lynx, fox and mink strode out, struck a pose - but "warm" was not the key word. The show had a theme of "casual and natural", featuring some cool items for the summer: light leather jackets, colorful furs, splicing short skirts and elegant evening dresses.
All of these pieces are created by a top-class Danish designing team and young designers from Tsinghua University. Each piece of clothing tells a story of diversified Danish life decorated by fur clothes.
"We are holding the show to explain that the fur is not a seasonal material for only autumn and winter, but also a style in summer. Many (designers) think in an opposite way, trying to make a stylish collection, coming up with a slim and authentic design," says Kenneth Loberg, director of marketing and business development at Kopenhagen Fur, who specially flew from the cold North European country to Beijing for the show. "We have a lot of fresh air, and the wind is always blowing in Denmark, and the nights are usually colder than it is here in the Beijing summer. So there is a lot of potential in using furs in summer."
The material can be used in so many ways. Kopenhagen Fur wants to bring fresh Nordic style to Chinese fashion week and share Danish fashion values and the latest fashion trends with Chinese designers and fur lovers, according to Cui Zhaokun, Kopenhagen Fur's China marketing and business development director.
"The fur industry of course is huge in the Chinese market, but what really concerns us is to incorporate fur into the general fashion industry - faster and more interesting than the fur industry itself. It is more interesting to push fur into other industries," Loberg says.
That goes not only for the summer fashion industry, but also for furniture design. In early October, Kopenhagen Fur invited furniture designer Zhu Xiaojie and accessory designer Soren Bach to hold an exhibition. The two designers used fur and other natural material to create various products, including wall paintings, chairs, wardrobes and small installations. One of his creations is a simple chair, but the back is made from mink, which gives an elegant touch to the furniture.
When Kopenhagen Fur came to China in 1994, it was the first of its kind. At that time, China was a very small market. It was Russia that dominated Kopenhagen Fur's global business, taking up 50 percent of total demand. But now, China takes 80 percent of Kopenhagen Fur's global business.
Consumers in China are becoming more demanding in individual designs and really good qualities in furs, but the difference is in the culture.
In terms of color, Chinese consumers like brown and black, while the Danish prefer brown. The Danish fur customers prefer simple, natural materials without too much decoration. Chinese fur lovers want more decoration and glamor. And a European consumer will have at most two fur coats, while a Chinese consumer can have as many as five different fur coats, Loberg observes. That's why he thinks there are many more possibilities for furs in China.