A vintage expert explains:

What makes fur an investment?

As the owner of legendary vintage shop Time’s Up, Jesper Richardy is one of the industry’s most respected voices on vintage fashion. We talked with the owner to find out what makes fur an investment.

Pick any of the iconic runway fur pieces from the last 70 years, and chances are that Jesper Richardy will have had them come through his store at some point. Since founding Time’s Up in 2005, the Copenhagen vintage shop has become an international phenomenon, highly regarded as one of the world’s best vintage fashion destinations for its rare and ever-transforming edit.

To you, what is the golden age of vintage fur?

I suppose it’s when fur went from being a status or class symbol to being design-driven, which happened with Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Revillon. Those three began to do more experimental furs that followed the trends and colours of the fashion world – especially Frédéric Castet, who designed furs for Dior from the late 1950s onwards. Yves Saint Laurent did furs that resembled his clothes, such as patchwork furs with little puff shoulders, done in the same silhouette as the rest of the collection. And then the coloured mink pieces that Saga Furs did for Claude Montana in the 1980s.

It’s about finding something truly unique.

What are you drawn to right now for the store?

Finding things that have been produced in smaller quantities – rather than it being something instantly recognisable, it’s about finding something truly unique. I think scarcity will become a much bigger phenomenon. I’m also looking a lot at investment vintage. What are we investing in right now that will maintain its value? Things tend to work in 15–20-year cycles, where people in their late twenties return to the big commercial successes from their teens and what they saw on TV and on celebrities as children.

People in their late twenties return to the big commercial successes from their teens.

In terms of investments, is fur something you can think of in that way?

Yes, particularly now. Vintage fur has never been more affordable, and the great thing about fur, of course, is that it will last through generations if you look after it correctly. I’m seeing a lot of vintage dealers buying up fur right now, particularly the more bonkers stuff such as Claude Montana, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior, rather than the classic mink coat. Dior furs are hot right now.

What furs have you been buying for the shop?

Previously, vintage fur was a more affordable way to invest in fur, but it still had to look as new and light as possible. I’ve bought some standard mink and fox coats whereas the more expensive pieces I’ve pretty much sold on immediately to other dealers. A lot of my colourful and more expensive furs I sell to a vintage dealer in LA who has a lot of Hollywood clients.

Maybe the best thing to do is something much wilder and more ‘now’.

What do you think will become future fur classics?

I think it’s interesting to think about what’s good design and what’s a classic. A lot of furs have been designed with a very classic aesthetic because they have such a long lifespan, but perhaps that’s actually not the right strategy in terms of doing something sustainable. Maybe the best thing to do is something much wilder and more ‘now’. It’s certainly where I see the interest of my own customers and international collectors moving.

Do you have any tips for people buying vintage fur?

The fur needs to be soft and can’t be losing any hairs. Check the places most susceptible to wear and tear, such as under the arms, around the buttons, pockets and arm openings. It’s not always immediately evident, so be thorough. And stay well clear of odour because it’s impossible to get rid of.


Time’s Up

Check out Jesper’s vintage selection at www.timesupshop.com

Vintage fur has never been more affordable.