Whether for saving money or saving animals, faux fur reflects the current state of the fashion industry.

Alexandra Lapp wearing a fake fur jacket from Jakke in Paris, Sept. 2017. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Alexandra Lapp wearing a fake fur jacket from Jakke in Paris, Sept. 2017. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Welcome to Fashion History Lesson, in which we dive deep into the origin and evolution of the fashion industry’s most influential and omnipresent businesses, icons, trends and more.

Man-made fur has gone by many names — mock fur, imitation fur, simulated fur, fabric fur — but the fashion world found its preferred nomenclature when Cher Horowitz proudly declared, “It’s faux,” back when the craze for over-the-top furry accents hit a new high in the mid-1990s.

Perhaps more than any other material used in fashion, faux fur is considered as much a political statement as it is a fashion statement. It may seem relatively unremarkable when almost every brand is peddling some form of furry fashion, but there’s something to be said about a material that was initially created to cheat Mother Nature. Perhaps we’re programmed to think that donning a fuzzy coat will keep us safe from the elements based on the needs of our ancestors. Then again, our ancestors didn’t have indoor heating or any of the other fashionable and technologically advanced choices that we have today, so why do we still feel the desire to go outside looking like polar bears and leopards?

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