Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Monday, June 30, 2014

What Becomes A Seattleite Most?

This week I got asked what I knew about fur in Seattle. The answer was a little, but I wish I knew more.

Fur is obviously a very controversial subject, but not one that I personally feel strongly about. There are lots of things that get me riled up (war, poverty, certain Supreme Court decisions today) but I just feel like animal rights is never at the top of the list.  I would be a terrible PETA spokesperson because if given the option of wearing fur or going naked, I would definitely pick fur. Not because I love fur, but because I love being clothed. But I don't own any fur because I don't feel particularly positive toward it either. It is beautiful and luxurious but still feels kind of…you know…dead.

Historically speaking though, fur is pretty exciting. The Seattle area was and still is a major fur center. The Seattle Fur Exchange was started during the Gold Rush in 1898 and quickly became one of the most important fur auction houses in the country. Then, it because one of the top players in the world.

Through a bunch of mergers and reorganizations the Seattle Fur Exchange is now American Legend Cooperative--which appears to be a pretty big deal. It oversees the American Legend brand, as well as Blackglama, famous for their celebrity-filled campaigns.

Obscure celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor

…and whoever this is

And their headquarters is still right here in Seattle! You can go visit! It is just down the street at…

P.O. Box 58308 

Yeah, so they're a little secretive about their current location. Maybe because if you google "Seattle Fur Exchange" a big portion of the hits are about protests and other actions against. 

What the American Legend website lacks in location mapping, it makes up for in pics from previous advertising campaigns. Sorry fur haters, some of them are FAB.

Do yourself a favor and click on the image and see the full view

THAT SKIRT. Or wait, is that a coat? What am I looking at here?
Can I order it in plush velvet instead of mink? K, thanks. 

Ooh! A little 60s vibe. 
This reminds me that there are not enough over-the-knee boots in my life.

But then things go awry…

Ew. No. What sense does this make?
Thinking about wearing something furry in a warm beachy situation 
makes me feel unpleasant and overheated

And from the same campaign…


My neck is actively uncomfortable right now 

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