Interview with Vittoria Tosatto

Discovering the world of fur

Saga Furs Creative Hub, previously known as Saga Furs Design Centre, is a department dedicated to the creative exploration of fur craftsmanship. Vittoria Tosatto, product developer and furrier at the Creative Hub, shares some of her experiences of working at the hub and her thoughts on why fur is such a special material.

Vittoria grew up in Padua in northern Italy, where her family still runs an artisanal fur company. While growing up, she helped out at the family business from time to time but didn’t consider pursuing a career in the fur industry. It wasn’t until after college that she started taking a real interest in the fur business.

Once she started working full time at her parents’ company after college, she realised just how big the world of fur was and how much there was for her to discover. This is the reason why she also attended multiple grading courses both in Denmark and Finland, which further deepened her interest in the fur industry.

– Fur is sort of uncharted territory. There are still things to be explored, and there are still secrets you can only learn by talking to experienced furriers that carry on the craft and its heritage from earlier generations, Vittoria explains.

Vittoria’s passion for fur eventually led to her current employment at Saga Furs Creative Hub in Finland. She moved to Vantaa in 2021 and started working at Saga Furs in August of the same year. Even though moving from sunny Italy to the somewhat chillier Finnish capital region might seem a bit daunting to some, Vittoria hasn’t regretted her choice.

– I really wanted to work at Saga Furs, and I didn’t mind moving here. I love the northern countries, and I would make the same decision all over again, Vittoria states.

A creative and fast-paced trade

Being a product developer and furrier at the Creative Hub is a versatile but sometimes also quite hectic job. However, Vittoria says she enjoys the different aspects that her position offers. At times she gets to be creative and work in a focused and thoughtful manner to find new ways to inspire people in the creative use of fur. At other times she gets to experience the fast pace and exciting preparations before an upcoming auction.

Vittoria’s job assignments consist of two main parts or objectives, just as her job title implies.

– You have the furrier part, which is the hands-on work, and the product developer part, which is more about staying in contact with people and making sure every stage of the process – from raw material to finished fur samples – runs smoothly, Vittoria explains.

She also points out that her Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages comes in handy since she handles a lot of the communication with Saga Furs’ international suppliers and business partners.

Even people in the business might not know of the vast range of uses of fur.

The mission and Fur Vision

The main goal of the Creative Hub is to inspire and engage buyers, brand customers and designers around the world to explore fur fashion design, sustainable material use and artisanship. This goal is achieved in many different ways, and chief among them is Fur Vision. Fur Vision is an event where Saga Furs invite their customers and stakeholders who might be interested in cooperating with Saga Furs to showcase new fur samples and highlight fur in fashion.

The very location of the Creative Hub is also crucial in promoting the creative use of fur. Saga Furs Design Centre was founded in Denmark in 1988 and moved to Finland a couple of years ago. The aim was to have the samples – the representations of the final result of the fur production and design – as close to the auction house as possible.

The move was a strategic decision motivated by the urge to educate people inside and outside the fur industry on the various uses and applications of fur. The fur sector comprises people from all sorts of backgrounds and occupational groups. It ranges from brokers and sellers to designers, farmers and so on. Vittoria notes that the inspiration to use fur needs to be coupled with information:

– It’s exciting to be a part of such a diverse community, but it also means that even people in the business might not know of the vast range of uses of fur.

Being at the very centre of the industry means that the Creative Hub can also promote the use of fur by bringing people together and functioning as a platform where future business partners can get in contact.

Sustainable fashion

Saga Furs Creative Hub adheres to the notion that the combination of fur and fashion is both natural and hard to beat. Furthermore, the Creative Hub maintains that fashion doesn’t have to be a matter of fleeting fads and disposable commodities. On the contrary, fur garments are made to be stylish and stand the test of time, just like Vittoria’s own fur coat:

– I have a fur coat which belonged to my aunt. It’s one of the most precious things I have. It has an emotional value to me, and I think this value is something we have lost in recent years due to fast fashion. Instead of having quality garments that last generations, we buy cheap things that we wear for short periods and then throw away.

Nowadays, people are starting to question the ruinous effects of fast fashion, but the benefits of more sustainable fashion still need to be promoted. Vittoria asserts that by keeping and using garments longer, we give them a history of their own.

– It’s not only about the value of the material itself; it’s about the memories and moments that will be etched into the piece of clothing when the fabric of time and the garment itself are interwoven.

Discovering the world of fur is ultimately an exploration of our personal values and how we want to treat the world we live in. This is the ongoing process at the core of Saga Furs Creative Hub.

Vittoria is hopeful about the future of fur fashion:

– I think we’re going back and rediscovering that we can, and should, aim for better quality and sustainability.

Facts

Did you know?

There are several different Fur Vision events every year. Check out our event calendar for dates and more information.

There’s still stuff you can only learn by talking to experienced furriers.