“Furry” trend… And fashion styles / style tribes list

Hi all,

For those who expressed interest, I’m still adding to the fashion styles / style tribes list.  I promise to post it when it’s ready.

On a semi-related topic…

“Furry” is another fashion subculture that I’d forgotten to include in my original list.  It’s been around for sometime, though the first time I’d seen it was in the online virtual world, Second Life, with avatars who self-identified and dressed as a “furry” or neko (cat-specific.)  With the tiniest bit of research, I sense that there are multiple style tribes related to this trend.  Does anyone know anything about this?  WGSN is our only trend forecasting database, but I didn’t find much there.

I think the most benign version of this trend has perhaps run its course.  (Hot Topics has apparently made a mint selling mall kids furry tails to pin to their trousers as a fashion statement.  Some kids also wear furry ears fixed to a headband,  furry earmuffs and paw mittens.)

The trend, in some cases, was apparently related to werewolves and the Twilight series, but other teens have been seen wearing foxtails and racoon tails.  (I don’t know what that’s all about.)  I’m guessing the furries with feline characteristics (mostly girls, I think) are more into the Japanese anime/manga/ cosplay side of this trend.

Please let me know if you know anything more about this trend, or related style tribes.  I’ll update my list accordingly.  Thanks!

Sandra (FTC SIG Moderator)

sjley@pima.edu

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2 thoughts on ““Furry” trend… And fashion styles / style tribes list

  1. I became aware of furries about a decade ago as a phenomenon much-mocked in the online underground, primarily due to the socio-sexual aspects of the lifestyle, which at the time seemed to consist exclusively of head-to-toe adornment. From the post above, it seems that the phenomenon has been distilled into the mainstream with more ancillary forms of costumery, i.e. accessorizing, rather than the anathema of full fur-suits.

    Here’s an article I found on google scholar http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/saa/2008/00000016/00000003/art00001
    What I find of particular interest here is that it’s the only fashion-phenomenon I’ve ever heard of being diagnosed as an identity-disorder! Potential implications for other subcultures?

    • Thanks, Jennifer. (Though I’m starting to feel a bit uncomfortable about some mouse ears I bought at Disneyland as a teen.)

      Your hypothesis is reasonable – that the trend emerged from the subculture popularly known as (forgive me for using an Urban Dictionary term) furverts. I suspect that the more recent furry fashion trend / “furry fandom” was distilled into the mainstream group via the genres of science fiction, fantasy fiction, anime and manga that focus on anthropomorphic animals or human-animal hybrids.

      As for psychological diagnoses of identity disorder and potential implication for other fashion subcultures, I believe that may be emerging also among the extremists who both dress and behave like vampires or werewolves, and are convinced that they are at least some percentage less than 100% human.

      It kind of makes one nostalgic for a crisp white blouse or a polo shirt.

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