Watch Out. The Fur is Flying!

This story will infuriate and make you want to reach into the screen and scream.


You know this gorgeous lady is my mom, past her 97th birthday into a fabulous year of being 98.

She has not lost one marble, not one, and can remember things better than I, has a better social life than I, has a cuter figure (still size 6!), and has a wardrobe to die for.

She’s the Original Clotheshorse but not frivolous. All the years I’ve watched her buy clothes, she’ll select quality things that’ll last decades and remain classic looking. I swear she has Ferragamo shoes that are fifty years old that look brand new because she takes care of everything she has. She has Chanel suits as old as from the 1960s that look as fresh and current had she bought them today. She knows how to put together a look that makes her very petite frame always look perfect.

ANYWAY, she knows her clothes inside out and backwards. She knows EXACTLY what shoes and dresses and what purses and what coats she has. So a few weeks ago when she took a mink jacket to be altered at the same furrier where she bought it, she left it with him without thinking twice. He was reputable. Or so she thought. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

When the work was done he handed her the jacket wrapped for her to take home and when she got home she opened it up and right away said This isn’t my jacket. 

She went right back and said he had given her the wrong jacket, that hers didn’t have cuffs and didn’t have such a high collar and the pelts were not the same. The one he handed her had cuffs and a much higher collar. Because my mom is short, she often has things cut down so she doesn’t drown in the fur.

This is where the story goes sour. The owner, yes the owner, took issue with my mother and told her she was wrong that what he gave her was indeed her coat and SHE WAS JUST WRONG.

With me still?

My mother said : I beg to differ with you. I know this isn’t my coat. You must have sent the back the wrong one from the Philadelphia showroom where the alterations are made.

He argued with my mother, telling her emphatically he was 100% positive the coat he gave her was hers.

The problem became that mom did not put her initials in this jacket like most furriers might do. It was a jacket she didn’t wear all the time and she didn’t have any photos of herself in the jacket.

She was (a) insulted that the owner of the store was challenging her and (b) furious that he was handing off an inferior coat to her.

She called all of us to see if we remembered the jacket enough to tell the furrier he was wrong but alas, we made terrible witnesses. When she comes to the city she doesn’t bring mink so it would be her Wilmington friends who would have to come to her aid. She found a couple of willing women who said thy remembered the jacket and were sure what she got back was NOT hers. One woman went in and told the furrier that, to no avail. The owner didn’t budge.

Mom asked me if I’d come down to Wilmington and help her plead her case and I said sure, even though I didn’t see how I could help, but felt I should be her advocate.

Then yesterday she called and said she wasn’t going to ask anyone else to go in on her behalf. That if the owner, with whom she’s done business before, didn’t believe her, then phooey. She was going to tell him to keep the ugly as sin coat he gave her, she didn’t want any money for it, and that she was going to tell everyone she knew how badly she was treated. And believe me, my mother knows a lot of people who likely shop there.

Then this morning she calls all breathless! She was cleaning out a closet and came across a bag. Inside were TWO CUFFS and a piece of fur from the trimmed collar. FROM HER COAT.

Soooooooooooooooooooo, the coat he pawned off on her, WITH CUFFS, AND A BIGGER COLLAR, IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT HERS.

Take that.

Of course, the owner isn’t in today and she doesn’t want to bring in the pieces she has until he’s there. But I’ll tell you, I want to see the look on his face when she shows him the cuffs and trimmed collar.

I realize this story is long but the point is really that the owner took the entirely wrong tone from the get go, accusing my mother of being so old she wouldn’t know her own coat. He could have easily said, let me look into this, or anything, like, oh my I’m sorry- perhaps there was some confusion. He didn’t give her any benefit of the doubt and my mother got a bee in her bonnet like you wouldn’t believe.

Moral of the story: Don’t ever count out my mother in any battle – she’s as sharp as a tack and details are her strongsuit.

Hope you made it though this long saga. I’ll post an update when I hear what the owner says. Hope he likes his crow rare.




11 thoughts on “Watch Out. The Fur is Flying!

      1. Man alive. That’s quite the website. I certainly heard of and saw footage of the incident but did not trip across the website. She’s screwed. For life.
        I didn’t quite have that in mind for the furrier but you ARE giving me ideas. 🙂

  1. I hope your mother tells that imbecile furrier that her daughter writes a very widely read blog & that with a simple click of a button his name will be mud EVERYWHERE. I hate being taken advantage of & I especially hate those who are low enough to take advantage of anyone – especially a lady on her 90’s.
    I’d be absolutely furious! I wish this was an isolated incident but my own mother was the victim of a similar scam by a local jeweler.

    1. I have purposely not used the name of the furrier (yet) because I am hoping the company apologizes and finds my mother’s jacket. I have this funny feeling the jacket will materialize once she shows him her cuffs. If not, they will get a headline.

  2. I’m curious if the “owner” is the exact same individual she’s had face-to-face with over the years (decades?). If it’s someone else in the family’s extended clan, that could make things more complicated. But in any case, your mother can blow up the business’ reputation pretty easily. Retail furrier reputation is SO much based on trust and long-term relationships. This guy is nutz.

    1. My mother’s good furs are all from NYC. This is a Philadelphia furrier with a location near her in Wilmington where she’s bought only this piece. The owner IS the person who was rude to mom, he and his brother are the third generation of the family to run the business. All the more curious that they’d want to doubt a customer. It’s not as if they are new to town. It makes no sense. None.

  3. quick fix so this doesn’t happen again: A custom label – sewed into the coat – with her name on it.
    Take a pictures of the fur/label and the salon owner holding same when she drops off coat for storage.

    But use a different storage place :). Dude sounds like a jerk

    1. This is the only coat where her initials are not sewn into the lining. When she dropped it off for a simple button replacement, it honestly didn’t occur to mom that she’d run into such a hornets nest. She has asked the retirement community she lives in to look through the security tapes for January to see if they captured her coming or going with that coat on. It’s about her only hope now. Ugh.

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