Updated: 2011-08-26 12:05
By Alexandra Leyton Espinoza (China Daily European Weekly)
"When I tell people that I work as a fur designer I get very mixed feelings, but the moment they feel the fur they like it."
He says there is a misconception regarding cruelty of animals. "The better the treatment of the animal, the better the fur. In a world with leather shoes and belts it is hard to put fur in a bad place."
Ubl believes the fur industry is growing in China as a result of a relaxed cultural perspective and boatloads of new money. Wealthy consumers want to splash out on luxury goods and fur is one of the sought-after items.
"Chinese people were once quite modest about their wealth, but that's changing now and they want to show it off. Wearing fur is one way to do this."
Because of the lower quality of domestic mink or fox, imported fur is the preferred choice but prices are rising.
Ubl says even though China's fur-breeding industry is developing, factors such as water, food and climate play important roles in producing good quality fur.
Chinese companies that import mink from Sweden to raise elsewhere often suffer sub-standard results. For a complete fashion line, equal quality throughout the pieces must be assured.
"When you design a coat collection, the fur must come from one country only," he says.
Ubl says his designs mainly fill the clothes cupboards of European clients. They fly into Beijing to buy fur garments and techniques that are later sold on to the high-end designers.
He has seen his designs displayed on the fashion catwalks of Paris and Milan. "They rarely tell me who the client is," Ubl says.
"I might be looking at the catwalk of Paris then I'll see my garments or fur coats. Even if they don't have my name, it makes me happy."
He attributes his success to the freedom his bosses allow him to develop new techniques and use unlimited resources at his studio.
The David UBL label will be launched at The Beach Club in Beijing next week.
"With hard work, I have been able to build my own brand and developed myself as a fur designer. In China you have the opportunity to be recognized and respected for your work, besides your age. You have almost no limits. Back in Europe, for a designer as myself I would have not been able to develop as fast as I have here," he says.
"Even if the inflation for the past years have had a bad impact on the economy the fur industry has continued its steady rise.
"As a designer I feel comfort in watching people on the subway getting more and more fashionable. Beijing and it's people give me inspiration for my designs."
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