The Obamas are maybe the most stylish political family ever, so we aren’t surprised to see elevated style take precedence here in D.C. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Barack and Michelle also brought the fur to Chocolate City.
The city is swimming in mink, chinchilla and sable, at least by one coat-check attendant’s accounts. While working at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Mike Dean told WSJ that he’s seen a "ridiculous" amount of furs come through his station.
The reason for this shift is two-fold, but it comes down to the Obamas’ influence. The first reason is the large number of Chicagoans that Barack persuaded to leave the Windy City for the District. Ever-efficient to thwart the cruel winds, more furs are sold in Chicago than any other city except New York (a city that is nearly double the size of Chi town). According to the Executive Director of Fur Information Council of America Keith Kaplain, more Chicagoans regularly wear fur than any other American city.
The second reason? Black people love fur. African-Americans account for over a quarter of all fur sales, while we teeter at under 15 percent of the general population. In fact, our fur consumption grows even as the economy dives. Data from the Fur Council reports a 10.5 percent increase in sales from 2002 to 2006. Add that to the influx of Black talent surging into the White House and you have a very furry city.
If all that wasn’t enough, peep the inauguration pics from earlier this year. Jay-Z, Kerry Washington (both of those images are above) and designer Diane von Furstenberg all sported fur or fur-lined headgear to the National Mall.
Interestingly, neither Michelle nor Barack have ever been spotted with fur (Michelle rarely wears sleeves, let alone coats). And wearing fur, even the more ethical fake fur, wouldn’t be very in line with their image as left-wing, socially conscious citizens. After all, they are hoping to adopt a pet from an animal shelter and insist on fueling up on locally-grown food.
A representative for D.C.-area-based PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said "the administration is all about understanding and caring, and there’s no place for fur in that."
So, are we soon to see the first fam don animal fur? Or are all of the Black, Chicagoland transplants simply dead-wrong? Either way, we’ll keep you posted.
– Whitney Teal