In this episode I interview Anna Tagliabue from luxury faux fur company Pelush in New York.
Originally from Milan, Italy, Anna moved to New York two decades ago and took a job working in the fur department at Fendi where she worked for the next eight years. When the brand launched a faux fur, Anna was captivated by it, but since it sold for a lot less than the animal furs and was popular with many customers, Fendi decided to no longer do faux fur. Anna bought the coat with a staff discount and began her search for high-end animal-free furs.
After leaving Fendi, she worked for 13 years at Prada on Madison Avenue as a personal shopper for high-wealth women on Manhattan’s upper east side – where her Pelush studio is currently based.
Five years ago, with the help of her friend, Italian haute couture designer Antonio Grimaldi, she started to learn the other side of the fashion business, including how to order and who to meet, and two years ago she launched Pelush – which means ‘plush’ in Italian – to create what she calls a ReFAUXlution.
Since then, her spectacular coats – that look and feel like real fur – have been worn by Helen Mirren (complete with a Humane Society anti-fur pin), four-time Grammy-award-winning jazz musician and bassist Esperanza Spalding and opera star Diana Damrau.
Anna’s fashion shows, including the two she’s held as part of New York Fashion Week, are akin to performance art pieces, featuring dramatic music and animal activists of all ages and backgrounds walking the runways. As well as showcasing her beautiful products, many of which include intricate hand-embroidered details, French lace and sparkling vintage glass, models carry placards with information and statistics that reveal the cruelty involved in the $40 billion fur industry.
In this interview Anna talks about:
• Why she chooses to make faux furs that look and feel like real fur
• How she knows whether a material is made from animals or not
• The challenges when she first started out of finding the right professionals to create the standard of product she required
• How she got her coats onto celebrities (and Helen Mirren to wear an anti-fur pin to a movie premiere)
• The importance of trunk shows, especially for new designers
• And much more
Visit the Pelush website
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