In Washington, D.C., sartorial trends shift with each administration. Ironically, Barack Obama's has inspired residents to break out the fur coats. Proving this, one coat-check attendant in D.C. told The Wall Street Journal the number of furs he handles these days is "ridiculous." There are many reasons for the shift. A number of residents of bitterly cold Chicago, the second biggest market for fur in this country behind New York, moved to D.C. for jobs with Obama, and they brought their furs with them. Also, African-Americans are disproportionately big buyers of fur, and the Obama administration has attracted an influx of professional African-American talent to the area. Though sales have declined nationwide, in 2006 African-Americans represented 27 percent of fur sales compared with 16.5 percent in 2002, reports the Fur Council. (Meanwhile, the animal-rights movement has succeeded in scaring white people out of wearing fur.)
But also, people are wearing fur for practicality's sake. D.C. is cold, and fur is warm. Fur sales spiked in D.C. leading up to the inauguration because people wanted to be warm at their parties and standing outside on Inauguration Day for hours on end — Jay Z, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Queen Latifah among them.
PETA is obviously having a (soy) cow over this. "The administration is all about understanding and caring, and there's no place for fur in that," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said. The group was in D.C. causing a ruckus during the inauguration.
To protest, PETA activists dressed like raccoons, foxes and rabbits and handed out hot chocolate in cups that said, "Thank you for keeping warm without fur."
So they're standing there in their costumes going, "You're not wearing fur! You can have our chocolate!"? We would just like to know if it was soy chocolate. Or breast-milk chocolate. Just curious, PETA. Whenever you have a chance.
Inside the Peltway [WSJ]