STYLE
01/22/2014 06:18 pm ET | Updated Jan 24, 2014

Is It Cool To Wear Fur Again? (VIDEO)

There was a time, not too long ago, when women who were brave enough to step out in fur coats ran the risk of being publicly scolded or even having red paint thrown on them (see: Samantha Jones in the first "Sex and The City" movie).

But now, it seems like everywhere you look, from the runway to the subway, people are once again embracing the fur trend. A panel of guests joined HuffPost Live this morning to discuss if and why the once the once frowned-upon garb has made its way back into the mainstream.

Keith Kaplan, editor-in-chief of The Fur Insider and executive director of the Fur Information Council of America, credits fur's real world resurgence to the fact that it is simply more available than ever before."We're seeing it in more adaptations, at more price points and available at more retail doors at ever before, which has created a broader audience," he explained. "It also has that warmth factor that nothing else matches."

It only makes sense, then, that the middle class is keen on snagging a piece of luxury for themselves they may have never had access to before. Lizzie Patton, Fashion and Luxury Correspondent for Financial Times, puts it simply: "They see it as the absolute zenith of what money can buy."

Of course, we cannot talk about trends without discussing the importance of pop culture. Stars from Kim Kardashian to Ashley Olsen has been spotted wearing fur, and there is a certain appeal in dressing like the celebs we see on the red carpet and in tabloid photos.

On the other hand, fur remains high controversial. Many call out the fur industry for being "inherently inhumane," with the Humane Society reminding us that there are "raccoon dogs skinned alive, foxes anally electrocuted, pets being killed in traps, and domestic dog fur being sold in New York City" to service the industry. PETA is more active than ever, boasting hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and message campaigns that draw support worldwide.

Between the influence of celebrity and designers' growing use of the textile in their collections, is fur is here to stay? Check out the video above for more of the discussion, and head over to HuffPost Live to watch the whole segment.

If they can do it...

Celebs In Fur & Faux Fur

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