Young designers use fur to promote sustainabiliy

After winning Kopenhagen Fur’s international design competition Imagine Talents 2019 with her design partner Reiner Toerner, Elisabetta Silvestri, a young designer who recently graduated from Royal College of Art, was invited for a week-long stay at the prestigious Fendi Fur Atelier.

The Fendi Fur Atelier is a studio dedicated to true craftsmanship and innovative fur design. Since 1925, “fearless experimentation with mink fur has driven Fendi’s creations” and to this day, Fendi is one of the leading fashion houses in fur design – not to mention the only fashion house with its own in-house fur atelier.

Elisabetta was very pleased with her stay, expressing; “To be there in person, made me realize how articulate the products they produce are, but also how much passion and qualification is required to be part of a brand like Fendi. Another point I found absolutely important, was to see how the different roles are defined and what skills are relevant to be qualified for certain positions.”

This was not the first time for the young designer to work with furriers. As part of her education, Elisabetta and her design partner Reiner Toerner attended a Kopenhagen Fur Masterclass held at the Royal College of Art in London. When asked about this experience, Reiner said; “The masterclass was truly amazing, we loved the conversations we had with Kopenhagen Fur’s furriers and especially how they showed us their work with new and innovative techniques. They really let us experiment with the material. Elisabetta and I went crazy and made fur shoes with heat-formed acrylic glass, mink and seal, earrings and accessories, as well as trying out all sorts of techniques on the machine and by hand. So, to sum it up, we really loved that they showed us what was possible and even what Kopenhagen Fur had developed for various brands. That really opened our imagination.”

It was the two designers’ experience with Kopenhagen Furs Masterclass that pushed them in the direction of Imagine Talents. During their time learning from the furriers of Kopenhagen Fur Studio, the pair became clear that they wanted to collaborate.

Elisabetta further went on to thank Kopenhagen Fur, describing her viewpoint on fur in the future; “…it is important to underline the craftsmanship involved as much as the long-lasting quality of fur itself which definitely elevates it to a top-quality material.”

Today, both Elisabetta and Reiner has graduated from RCA – Reiner with a M.A. in Fashion Menswear and Elisabetta with a M.A. in Fashion Design. They are both working in the fashion industry and are both optimistic towards their future careers and to working with fur further on.