Billie van Katwijk

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Wear Hair


By researching the product chain of the Dutch mink fur, I got inspired by the tension between the beauty and craft of the material on one hand, and the negative emotions that fur evokes on the other hand.

The Dutch mink farms are transparent and must adhere to strict national rules. Once an animal has become badly treated or stressed it’s immediately visible in his fur. The minks eat leftover products from the meat industry and therefore clear more than they produce. The mink, as opposed to the meat industry, have a fast painless death.

I was impressed by the very long durability of mink fur and the craftsmanship, especially in vintage fur. A mink fur coat will last at least 25 years, and remains beautiful, is crafted and often  has emotional value. Compared to faux
fur, which is made of plastic, oil, made by for instance children in Bangladesh, is sold at shops like H&M for 30 euros and after a year no longer beautiful. Fur ia a luxurious material but a lot of people that don’t value fur at all. There are a lot of fur haters. Mainly because people can easily identify themselves with a cute soft animal. This identification I wanted to use in my design.

I saw a similarity with human body hair. Some parts are highly valued, and other parts are not at all. We have a whole range of beauty products for the hair on our head and on the other hand female armpit hair is often seen as dirty and not hygienic.  

I made a visualization of literal identification. The female body is made of shaved vintage mink fur, with unschaved fur on the body hair places.