Ladies' furs

Think of Russia and you think of several things; vodka, cold winters and fur (coats or shapky). Cold winters and fur are of course closely connected and fur has become deeply embedded in the national psyche, representing warmth, beauty and trade. Moscow's government will make space for the 2007 Moscow Fur Festival, housing it in the government building on Novy Arbat, dom 36/9. Big names will come from home and abroad to one of the most important events in the world fur calendar.

There is a developed and still growing demand for luxury products in Russia. Moscow plays host to a growing number of international trade fairs and exhibitions, where the best names and labels come to bedazzle a wide-eyed public. This one started in 1999, at the International House of Artists, and moved to its current premises in 2002, but the Moscow Fur Festival is no eastern outpost of tastes which it has absorbed from other cultural capitals.

Russia emerged as a fur trading nation in the 15th century, and Russian fur has since been a dominant force in the market. The exhibition continues this long established excellence and the Moscow government, the Moscow Department of Consumer Market and Services, and Olympus Expo will welcome 60 different suppliers to the city, the fur capital of the world.

With all the products and companies under one roof, enthusiasts will enjoy the convenience of having everything close together, but above all the lower prices that arise from a dose of healthy competition. The volume of business which this has attracted over the last eight years has encouraged suppliers to reduce prices further, thereby bringing a special and often exclusive product within the grasp of more and more people.

The festival presents an opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet, and this contributes to the event's popularity. Exhibits that can usually only be seen on A-listed catwalks, where glimpses of cutting edge design are restricted to the eyes of a lucky few, come within the grasp of a wider clientele.

Fur has always been in demand here. Its sales are a good yardstick for the state of the economy as a whole, and as soon as the Russian economy stabilizes the demand for fur is one of the first things to pick up again. If you want to inspect the latest state of the market, the exhibition runs until November 11.

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