Emilou is a British fashion design graduate based in the north east of England. During the final year of her fashion degree in 2013, she entered the British Fur Trade Association competition. She became a finalist in the contest (but not before months of research into the fur trade - it's hard to believe now that the concept of fur could have ever seemed unknown!) and had an opportunity to visit a fur workshop in London and to start to learn about modern fur craft techniques from Saga Furs - this is how it all started!
Emilou's graduate collection was shown with the International Fur Federation at MiFur, an annual fur convention in Milan. At this point, she started to make freelance products in fur and also to repair vintage fur coats. She soon learned about a fur summer school run by Fur Europe that would take place in Greece, in a city called Kastoria, which is historically the capital of fur production. She has now attended this summer school twice - once as a participant, and once as an assistant.
The story could be made so much longer, but to summarise, Emilou now has designs manufactured in Kastoria, Greece, and is part of a growing network of young people involved in the fur industry. This also provides a network multiple fur farms for the discussion of ethical practices. These include farms in Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Norway and the United States.
One of the most traditional skills in Kastoria is the manufacture of fur plates - these are 'sheets' of fur made from scraps, a sustainable tradition that reduces waste. Some of the garments you will see on this website are made using this technique, and there are also luxurious, full pelt garments. I am proud to have a partner and manufacturer in Kastoria who not only has amazing technical skill, but also valuable business advice (and life experience!).
The story would surely not be complete without also mentioning Emilou's valued mentor, Chris, in the UK - in business for 40 years and a fantastic furrier, Chris truly promotes the long lived sustainability of fur, and helped Emilou to remodel her first vintage garment (a mink coat with sable trim - garments that were between 30 and 50 years old). He continues to be a most valuable contact for advice on bespoke work - and a very good friend.