Saga Furs and Esmod locations around Europe have worked together for many years, with Saga sponsoring design contests at the schools as well as seminars at the Design Center. A prime objective is to preserve the European furrier craft—high quality materials deserve nothing less than excellent workmanship.
Craftsmanship and heritage make the core of our cooperation with Esmod,” says Saga Furs head of design & innovation Dorte Lenau Klint. “In times of economic woes and unemployment, when mass production is the norm, it is vital that we do things differently for the future. That’s why we take pride in craftsmanship and consider it a link between us and Esmod.”
Tom Lindgren, who teaches design and collection development at Esmod Oslo, worked with fur years ago before assuming design positions at fashion houses in Europe and Asia.
“But I hadn’t worked with fur for quite a while before joining Esmod,” he says. “I enjoy learning from Per (Reinkilde, product development manager) and this can help me expand the fur project back home.”
Taking the craft back to school
The seven Esmod design students who joined Lindgren at a Saga Furs Design Center seminar each addressed the task of learning the furrier craft from a personal perspective.
“The students are surprised to see how easy it is to cut and sew fur, and the effects you get. We have some samples at school, but now I have a lot more stuff to show and tell about,” Lindgren says, and adds with a smile, “maybe I’ll start with Adam and Eve and fur.”
He too was surprised by how the furrier craft has evolved in just the past few years. “What I see is really distinctive: How to make fur lighter and beautiful, and all these amazing patterns,” he notes. “There is work to do when we get back.”
Responsible fur is the driving force to advance the fur heritage
Norway is a major European producer of responsible fur, but the material is banned from the fashion week in Oslo.
“Fur has a heritage in Norway, because it’s cold there, but many designers have gone away from fur. Now there is a new point of view and you can see what’s happening as a result of it; you see a lot of fur coats and hats on the street: modern, traditional and fusions of the two.”
While many students want to work with fur, some are deterred by anti-fur materials presented at the school. “The videos and information films we’ve seen at Saga have a more accurate point of view about farming conditions and emphasize the importance of responsibility I this area. You don’t hear a lot about that in Norway,” says Lindgren.
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