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Nutria - Guilt Free Fur For Today's Fashions

Updated on July 23, 2012
Nutria a Louisiana Rodent
Nutria a Louisiana Rodent

Fur Makes a Comeback

Fur is making a comeback with many designers using it in their collections. Luxury never goes out of fashion, and fur with its versatility and inherent characteristics, is a luxury item that is sold as an investment. Fur can make an ordinary item, extraordinary. The new look of fur is understated as reflected in its minimalistic use as trim and accessories. In an effort to appease animal activists, designers are using high quality faux fur, and recycled fur from rabbits and lambs from the meat industry. But some designers have begun offering a 'guilt free' fur in their clothing.

Nutria Fur Coat by Oscar de la Renta
Nutria Fur Coat by Oscar de la Renta

Designers Warm Up To Nutria Fur Fashion

The Nutria is a large rodent that has been overpopulating the swamps in Louisiana. The state has placed a bounty on the destructive rodent to try to diminish their harmful effects on the marshlands. With over 300,000 of the animals being killed each year, some savvy designers saw an opportunity to use the fur, which is similar to beaver.

In an effort to bring Nutria fur into the fashion spotlight, local Louisiana designer, Cree McCree, started Righteous Fur. She and other local designers shared collections of clothing using Nutria in three fashion shows in New Orleans and then recently took their designs to a New York show.

The Nutria is gaining popularity with designers like Michael Kors and Oscar de la Rena who have used the fur in recent collections.

Nutria - South American Native

The Nutria are native to South America. They were brought into the country by fur farmers in the late 1800's. Over time, as some of the animals escaped, they took refuge in the swamps. Trappers, supplying the demand for the exotic fur, kept their population in check.

In the 1980s fur began losing its popularity and the Nutria were left to breed unchecked. Before long the overpopulating Nutria were endangering the ecosystem of the Louisianan coastal wetlands.

Nutria - Elegant and Rugged

Once worn by celebrities like Sophia Loren, Greta Garbo, and Elizabeth Taylor, designers are once again appreciating the rugged yet elegant appearance of the Nutria's fur.  It has proven to be very adaptable and when shorn is soft, subtle and very similar to beaver fur.

Designers are taking advantage of its rugged look and using it in men's fashions.  Billy Reed, who has been picked by GQ as the years best new designer of menswear, calls Nutria badass fur that has a masculine richness.  He has used it to trim gloves and collars in his 2010 collection of menswear. 

Nutria in Menswear Fashion
Nutria in Menswear Fashion


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