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Why Gen Z is ‘bringing back’ real fur coats: Young fashionistas lead resurgence in vintage furs as ‘mob wife aesthetic’ trend sweeps TikTok

Thanks to anti-cruelty campaigns and animal right movements, for the past few decades and beyond, real fur has been removed from the wardrobes of most fashion fans.

After disappearing from catwalks and the streets alike, the taboo garments haven’t been on the radar for the majority, especially Gen-Z. 


However, with the ‘mob wife aesthetic’ sweeping social media this year, glamorous gold jewellery, furs, and animal print are all making a comeback.

And not all of the bold furs are fake, with a lot of young people making use of real vintage or second hand items passed down from family members and bagged in charity shops.


Anisha Joshi, a 28-year-old media host and entertainer from Canada, posted a TikTok about the possibility of wearing her grandmothers old fur coat, looking to get other people's opinions

Anisha Joshi, a 28-year-old media host and entertainer from Canada, posted a TikTok about the possibility of wearing her grandmothers old fur coat, looking to get other people’s opinions


Pip Chawner, a fur seller in London, has taken notice of the next generation falling in love with this look, meaning business is booming.

She founded her womenswear and fur up-cycling brand Phillipa London in 2015, specialising in vintage furs.

The expert told MailOnline: ‘What I’ve noticed on social media is that the ‘mob wife’ hashtag has been used massively since January.


‘It’s making it very fashionable and people have talked on Instagram and TikTok about how you need to grab your granny’s fur or your mummy’s fur.


‘But what I’ve found, particularly in places in London, is that a lot of people have been wearing vintage fur for a long time. It’s not just the latest craze. 

‘I think a lot of people wear it because they understand the fact that it’s affordable luxury and that you’re not going to be paying thousands and thousands of pounds for a beautiful new mink coat, for instance, that would probably cost you £2,300’.


She explained: ‘It’s going to probably cost you a maximum of £1,600 pounds, and starting off for a little jacket at £300 pounds for a little vintage jacket. It’s so much more attainable, that affordable luxury.

‘Gen-Z are really picking up on it and I really feel that the younger generation do understand that it’s sustainable, it’s ethical. 

Pip Chawner (PICTURED), a fur seller in London, has taken notice of the next generation falling in love with this aesthetic, meaning business is booming

Pip Chawner (PICTURED), a fur seller in London, has taken notice of the next generation falling in love with this aesthetic, meaning business is booming



She founded her womenswear and fur upcycling brand Phillipa London in 2015, specialising in vintage furs

She founded her womenswear and fur upcycling brand Phillipa London in 2015, specialising in vintage furs

‘You’re not adding to fossil fuels. You’re using something that’s very beautiful that’s going to keep you warm, and that the fact that it’s vintage, they love that,- they love the fact that it’s upcycled.

‘You’re not killing an animal in order to wear it. You’re not going to be polluting the Earth by buying one because it already exists. And also they they are biodegradable, of course. 


‘Whereas faux fur and alternative fabrics like a puffer jacket for instance, obviously, that’s got fossil fuels in making the the waterproof fabric’.

Celebrities are also hopping onto the movement, with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and Kate Moss donning real and fake fur garments.


However, Kendall Jenner was slammed for the decision online after sharing a number of photos in December, which saw her wearing a $27,000 tri-color Phoebe Philo shearling (which is sheep or lamb) fur coat.


Influencer Matilda Djerf also took to Instagram recently to show off a long black fur coat, alhough it’s not confirmed whether it’s faux.

Anisha Joshi, a 28-year-old media host and entertainer from Canada, posted a TikTok about the possibility of wearing her grandmothers old fur coat, looking to get other people’s opinions.

She told MailOnline: ‘I don’t really think there’s any reason to seek out a fur coat unless you’re in a cold climate. 


Kendall Jenner, 28, has been slammed by fans for wearing a real shearling fur coat in recent Instagram snaps from Aspen, Colorado

Kendall Jenner, 28, has been slammed by fans for wearing a real shearling fur coat in recent Instagram snaps from Aspen, Colorado 


‘Personally I don’t find anything wrong with inheriting an heirloom or buying something secondhand you come across, but to actively seek it out feels a bit like you’re treating the animal as a trophy. 

‘I’m not a fan of that. However, humans have always and will likely always wear fur and I think there is a way to participate ethically’. 


She inherited her grandmothers fur coat from the sixties, which she believes is either lynx or grey fox.

Anisha explained: ‘It has a special history to it as she bought it at a turning point in her life. 

‘Naturally given the time period it didn’t exactly come from a place where the animals were treated well, and you can feel that energy in the coat. 



‘Before she passed it down to me I had never even considered wearing fur. Immediately I struggled to wear it but was consumed by the sheer beauty of the coat. 

‘I posted a video asking for opinions and many suggested to either wear it with pride, donate it, or bury it’. 

She concluded: ‘Ultimately the idea of parting with it was not an option for me – but neither was wearing it, so I decided to approach it from a spiritual point of view. 


‘I plan to have an altar in my home featuring the coat and my sister in law is going to help me facilitate a ceremony for its life using indigenous practices. After that I may consider wearing it for special family occasions or during extremely cold temperatures.

‘It’s important to remember that when we’re talking about sustainability animal products are sometimes much better for the environment than their faux plastic counterparts. 


One Gen-Z TikToker, who posts under the handle @oklaurizzle, opened up the conversation by asking her followers if they think real fur coats are truly stylish again

One Gen-Z TikToker, who posts under the handle @oklaurizzle, opened up the conversation by asking her followers if they think real fur coats are truly stylish again


‘Buying new faux fur from a fast fashion company simply isn’t a sustainability focused choice. 

‘Secondhand fur is okay with me, or I would buy from a local indigenous maker.

‘Historically the mainstream fur industry has had devastating effects on some animal populations so I don’t believe anyone should be buying it for no reason, and certainly not buying new from a company where you don’t know how the animals are being treated. 


‘Ask yourself why you really want it. If you’re in a cold climate and want to respectfully buy a secondhand fur coat to give it a second life – by all means. But if you see it as a fashion statement, maybe bring some more depth to your decision’.


One Gen-Z TikToker, who posts under the handle @oklaurizzle,also opened up the conversation about the trend by asking her followers if they think real fur coats are truly stylish again.

She told viewers: ‘Today I saw Matilda Djerf post this photo. Obviously I can’t tell if this is real fur but it does look like it to me.


‘Just generally I’ve seen more creators wearing fur coats, so I decided to check the Google trend search requests for fur coats in the last five years.

‘Of course in winter there’s always a little peak for the search requests but as you can see, the peak is higher than in the last five years. I’m not here to judge anyone for wearing fur coats, but I’m geuinely interested in what your opinions are’.

One user penned: ‘On one side I would love to wear my grandma’s coat but nobody knows that it is an old one and I do not want to promote it – the struggle’.



A second added: ‘If you push vintage coats and it becomes a trendy item, there will be more demand, therefore more request for new ones’.



Fashion fans online chimed in with their opinions on the ethics behind wearing real fur

Fashion fans online chimed in with their opinions on the ethics behind wearing real fur


Meanwhile, a third chimed in with: ‘Bought a vintage fur coat several months ago and I think it’s totally fine, since it has already been produced decades ago and now gets second life’. 

Charlotte Lister, a PA from Nottingham says she only owns faux fur coats, which she now regrets as she didn’t realise they were not biodegradable. 

She says: ‘I feel that vintage fur is the best of both worlds, it allows you to be sustainable without supporting industries that pollute or contribute to animal cruelty’. 


However, along with other fashion lovers, she has the fear that the rise in popularity of wearing vintage fur can inspire more people to buy new real fur items such as coats, which is something she ‘definitely doesn’t want’.


The personal assistant adds: ‘I would also suggest staying away from exotic vintage fur from endangered animals as this sets a terrible precedent if you do go down the vintage fur route.

‘Many people think faux fur is the way to go but what people don’t seem to be aware of is that it’s made of plastic, so it doesn’t biodegrade which is terrible for our environment.


‘I think we should question everything we wear and use and its ethics as we don’t want to see manufacturers incorporating animal cruelty into fashion’.

Suzanne Baum, a lifestyle and celebrity editor and micro-influencer in London, says she is of the 'old school opinion' that 'wearing real fur is rather vulgar and tasteless'

Suzanne Baum, a lifestyle and celebrity editor and micro-influencer in London, says she is of the ‘old school opinion’ that ‘wearing real fur is rather vulgar and tasteless’

However, not everyone is in love with the rising popularity of real fur – vintage or not.



Suzanne Baum, a lifestyle and celebrity editor and micro-influencer in London, says she is of the ‘old school opinion’ that ‘wearing real fur is rather vulgar and tasteless’.

She remarked: ‘I grew up with the likes of vocal anti-fur campaigners like Stella McCartney, Sadie Frost and Meg Mathews and have interviewed lots of the big anti-fur names like Vivienne Westwood and Naomi Campbell.

‘I still wont wear real fur myself, even though I have my grandmothers old fur jackets in my wardrobe.


‘Back in the day, real fur was associated with animal cruelty and a lack of welfare consideration and I have never really shrugged that off. 

‘I think some of the younger generation have a far less rebellious attitude and now we are far more informed about the damage that fake fur can cause with its micro-plastic materials we are left in a rather grey area.


‘I write on sustainability and fashion a lot and rent my designer clothes from MyWardrobe so I am all about wearing vintage and second hand clothes, but just stop short on fur as I would be concerned about the backlash.


The editor added: ‘What I think is the right approach is for designers to be more transparent about where the fur has come from and where they have sourced it from.

‘For example, I read online that a company called Levinsky Furs in Denmark only sources their fur from Inuit hunters in Greenland as well as from auction houses that are mandated by the government to have suitable living conditions for their animals’.

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