ASSOCIATION OF FURRIERS OF SLOVAKIA /AKS/ is a long-standing member of the INTERNATIONAL FUR FEDERATION /IFF/ seated in London and a member of the FUREUROPE - European furrier’s organization seated in Brussels, and was established, like any other professional organization, mainly for the development and promotion of the fur craft in our country, while the positive results of its work in practice also help its non-members and other related industries. Due to its activities and results, AKS has become a recognized partner of central authorities and affiliated institutions in the Slovak Republic. However, IFTF and FUREUROPE are fully aware of its work and activities in all areas of the industry and the fashion industry.
awareness AInformation Informing ITF and FUREUROPE members about everything happening in every area of this sector and in the fashion industry is a completely irreplaceable part of its work and activity.
Natural fur is a clean, sustainable, fashionable material with minimal impacts on landfills and oceans. The fur material is completely biodegradable and sustainable at every stage of production. When taken care of professionally, it will last for decades and is virtually indecomposable in nature, unlike artificial fur made of plastics and additives of chemical substances which ends up in the waste after a few seasons. The process of producing fur garments meets the highest environmental standards; more over furs are processed by several generations – on demand they are reworked and altered, with various accessories sewn from them - pillows, blankets, covers, textile pads, caps and waistcoats … jackets, boleros, scarves, and the like are sewn from cuttings.
At present, more than a million skilled people work in the fur industry. The global retail value of fur is now more than 30 billion. USD. In Slovakia we no longer have farms for breeding fur animals - Slovak furriers mainly buy fur materials at world fur auction, the most renowned of which are in Denmark, Finland, Russia, the United States of America and Canada.
Currently, most fur comes from specialized farms, and only about 15% comes from the rich wild populations, all under very strict rules, regulation, directives, state and governmental approvals of quotas, along with permanent research in all areas of our ecosystem.
Thanks to the existence and work of AKS in Slovakia, furs have returned from the background to the foreground and their rightful socio-valued reputation has been restored. The public awareness of the global importance of this sector, of the hard work of furriers and its progress, but also about the significance of smaller family firms and small traders who perform also very valuable work in this field.
Since 2004, when the Association of Furriers of Slovakia held at the HOLIDAY INN Hotel in Bratislava its first representative gala evening together with a grand fur fashion show of models of the winter season 2004/2005, the annual staging of these social advertising campaigns has become one of the most important events of the Association of Furriers of Slovakia.
The second representative gala evening of AKS was held a year later, in the much more appropriate and representative rooms of the beautiful historic RADISSON SAS Carlton Hotel in Bratislava. From that date, this top representative event of the activities and work of AKS and Slovak furriers, the Gala Dinner, has been held at the premises of this, one of the oldest and most beautiful hotels in Bratislava. It of course always enjoys the full support of IFF and currently also of FUR EUROPE, every year in the months of October or November.
Over the years, the members of AKS have managed not only to host this event in the capital of the Slovak Republic and thus bring it to the awareness of the Slovak public, but also, thanks to its extraordinary and always creative scenario associated with a big fashion show, make it one of the most prestigious social events of the year, with which the new winter season and the season of the new fashion creation is officially opened.
The beautiful music from the world-wide successful TV series Game of Thrones - in the form of a of saxophone performance symbolically introduced us into the opening of another festive Association of Furriers of Slovakia evening near the end of 2018, which was also a celebration because the Slovak Association of Furries celebrated the 15th anniversary of its founding. But, above all, it aimed to celebrate and give homage to mankind and human skills, without which no craft in ancient times would have developed, The fur craft belongs among the oldest, the most widespread, and up to today still present , as as is evidenced by a rare written document about the first furrier guild in Košice from 1307.
Also in 2018, the AKS presented in Bratislava's SAS RADISSON BLU CARLTON Hotel more than 140 of the newest models from the 2018/2019 winter season fashion trends.
On behalf of the organizers, the very popular actor and actress from the Nová Scéna Theater in Bratislava, Mrs. Karin Olasová and Mr. Přemysel Boublík, hosted the present guests and media delegates throughout the whole evening.
The beauty, elegance and exceptionality of individual models was highlighted in 2017 by one of the most beautiful Slovak women, Mrs. Marianna Ďurianová, who has been the face of the fur beauty for several seasons. Moderators of these Gala Dinners are always popular personalities from the Slovak social scene, such as moderators Martin Nikodým, Soňa Müllerová, Patrik Švajda, Zlatica Puškárová, Roman Juraško, Jaroslav Zápala, Erika Judínyová Skrúcaná, actors Branislav Deák, Přemysl Boublik, Ján Koleník ... The models are shown by models from the reputable FOCUS agency as well as by the current Miss Slovak Republic, but also by, for example, Miss World Taťána Kuchářová, the top model Andrea Verešová, and top world models Viera Schotterová and Eva Bohatá.
Immediately after the completion of the official program and after opening the reception, the beautiful high round Harmony Hall was opened opposite the main stage, in which the so-called SHOWROOM was created and visited by many guests. They had the opportunity not only to see this year’s models but also to touch them or try them on and look at themselves, which was the best achievement of the purpose of the fur presentation. It is not enough only to read and write about fur, it is necessary to see it with your own eyes, to personally touch it, and to fully experience moments with this beautiful and unique natural material.
Despite the positive results of the work, the Association of Furriers of Slovakia will in the future have to make every effort to overcome and solve the greatest problem of fur craft in Slovakia, which is the fact that with the changing of the socio-economic situation, our country has gradually becomes an automotive power while other economic sectors almost completely disappearing. Production cooperatives and state enterprises dealing with textile production, tannery, fur production, have disintegrated... secondary technical and vocational schools for these sectors have almost completely closed down. The last students completed their education in these schools in 1997. It follows that in Slovakia virtually a whole generation of these professionals is currently missing. However, a lot of new modern private secondary schools have been created, almost all with a general orientation. Specialization and professional qualification for light and consumer industries, as well as services, are completely suppressed. The result of this development is the fact that young people want to make good money immediately, they do not want to manually work hard, and they would rather go abroad for good earnings. Today the fur industry in Slovakia survives only thanks to the middle generation and the fact that in Slovakia furs have always been worn. Furs are not textiles, and require not only a much higher financial investment, but particularly special professional training and experience in the field. Just as it was in the past – it requires willingness, talent, and experience, starting with an apprenticeship certificate or high school diploma. The solving of this problem will in every respect be very difficult.