The dazzling collections created by Musi Furs have earned recognition and appreciation worldwide for this Canadian designer and manufacturer of luxury fur garments and accessories. While the Canadian fur industry goes back as far as 1600’s and represents part of our heritage and one of the oldest trades in Canada, Musi Furs pushes the boundaries of fur fashion today, extending playfulness and sophistication to its customers worldwide.
Musi Furs produces the best quality fur apparel and accessories handcrafted by Canadian master furriers. Musi’s fresh and exciting designs demonstrate the unique vision of the head designer George Musi and his brothers Nicola and Musa. Musi views fur not only as functional fashion but as a medium for artistic expression in the collections that earn recognition and appreciation worldwide year after year. These handcrafted products made of sheared beaver, fox, chinchilla and mink, and dyed in a myriad of colors, offer elegant and cutting-edge fur fashion designs.
Musi reflected on fur fashion, “People expect that the fur coat producers would be sticking to the traditions, producing the same old-fashioned garments, but it is not so. We closely follow the fashion industry and the latest trends. In the past we fashioned garments mostly from beaver, but today we make more sable, mink and chinchilla coats. The reason for this is that beaver coats were designed for the middle class America, but with the changing markets we want to focus on the production of modern, high-end products for high-end customers, increasing the quality rather than quantity.”
To stay at the forefront of fashion trends and the industry, the company works with fashion colleges, working with students and implementing their ideas into designs, while staying on top of changes in the fashion industry. Musi, who designs but also works on producing the garments himself, told us, “For example, if the customers see that our colours match the colours that are currently in styles coming from Europe or New York, they know that we and our products follow the trends, and these customers will most likely return. To maintain our edge, we receive the seasonal style colours directly from the fashion industry in Paris.
Fashion is a craft but it’s also an art, so to develop a new style can take weeks, and it still may not work in the end; on the other hand, sometimes the ideas develop very quickly and the end result is spectacular.”
The company garments carry the red and gold label of the Beautifully Canadian — Certificate of Authenticity program which includes information about the origin of the fur, when it was made, who designed it and which certifies that the garment is made in Canada. About this Canadian prestige image in the fur industry Musi said, “As we continue to refocus our business onto the export markets, we see that the “Made in Canada” label is extremely important. Canada was built on the fur industry and Canada is a major player in the global industry today. For the young, up-and-coming Asian entrepreneurs, the Canadian label on a fur coat is like buying a pair of Italian shoes, a Swiss-made watch or Russian caviar. The same applies to visitors to Canada who visit our plant — they want to take home furs made in Canada as they represent luxury. Fur coats are also important in various cultural contexts. For example in northern China fur coats are given to the bride-to-be, and “Made in Canada” is considered the best. This is why we want to represent the Canadian fur industry in this Chinese market.”
In 2009, 94 per cent of Musi Furs business was in the U.S. and the rest in Canada; today the U.S. shares has dropped to 72 per cent, with China taking eight per cent and Japan at 12 per cent. This is partially due to the company refocusing its production on the high-end market. This refocusing also affected the company production — dropping by 60 per cent, while the company remains at the same profit levels. The company produces around 1,000 units per year, and the production intensiveness varies depending on the product quality. While the average price per unit is around $5,000 to $8,000, the company also produces high-end luxury sable coats that retail for up to $75,000.
Russia, China, Korea, and Japan represent the largest markets for the high-end fur products and the company deals mainly with the local trading houses that supply these markets. However, while ‘Asia’ is the buzz word in the fur industry, Musi Furs remains true to its Canadian roots and originality despite offers to reproduce Musi garments in China. As the global fur trade continues to open, the company is making strides into these new growing markets for luxury products, and these Beautifully Canadian products can be found at the finest boutiques around the world.