American Legend Cooperative (ALC,) previously known as the Seattle Fur Exchange, established in 1898 in Seattle, Washington, is the oldest, largest, and most respected auction house in the world. ALC started during the Alaska Gold Rush when people were searching for ways to survive which meant the trade of wild furs for items such as tools, food, and clothing. The Seattle Fur Exchange focused solely on one type of fur, wild Alaskan fur, but with the quick expansion of the business, mink was becoming more prevalent. Not soon after, mink farms were sprouting throughout North America. American Legend Cooperative is the creator for two of the most world-renowned and desired brands of mink garments in the industry, Blackglama® and American Legend.
Blackglama® and American Legend were born from farmers who aspired to become the brands known in the fur industry for producing mink. These brands, through the ALC ensure the highest quality mink available by following strict rules and guidelines that are set by agriculture and governmental agencies. In providing the best mink, equates the best care of the animals. American Legend was formed from EMBA Mink Breeders Association, originally known as Mink Breeders Association, started in 1942, which was officially established in 1961. American Legend prides themselves on leading the way through exquisite and inventive new ways to stay ahead and always on top in the fur industry, pioneers. Each one of their products is individually labeled to guarantee they are authentic and to make sure they are the crème de la crème of the North American mink. Focusing their strengths on the finest quality minks, they narrow in on all color phases, except for black; the naissance of the legendary Blackglama®.
Blackglama®, formed first as the Great Lakes Mink Association (GLMA) in the 1940’s, determined to provide the most luxurious, black, ranch-raised mink that anyone could provide. After hiring an ad agency in New York to acquire more publicity for their fur, they established and trademarked Blackglama®, which would become famous for a campaign that spread throughout the nation. The campaign incorporated famous icons from the entertainment industry including film, music, modeling, and much more. With the tag line “What Becomes A Legend Most,” notable names such as the incomparable Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn, Ray Charles, posed for the label. This campaign not only made the auction house more credible for their use of celebrity, but showed the world that Blackglama® was the most authentic in mink production.
Blackglama® offers two verification methods for authenticity. Namely verifying that the garment is genuine by entering the unique serial number inscribed on the label, sewn into each garment, directly on their website, and they also added an extra security measure that is only visible when ultraviolet light is applied to the owner’s label.
Blackglama® has set high standards through the ALC when it comes to the mink pelts they receive, so much so that less than 2% of the world’s population of mink is selected for the use of the Blackglama® name and label.
Therefore, the American Legend Cooperative continues to set the highest standards in quality and care, providing only the best, most authentic products, and what customers should seek when looking for mink.
North American Fur Auction (NAFA)
North American Fur Auction (NAFA) has trading activities that date back to the foundation of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) in 1670. From the earliest days the marketing of furs was done in a competitive environment, originally by a sealed bid and subsequently at public auctions held in London, England. Changes in corporate direction in the late 1980′s resulted in a number of decisions which saw HBC selling off many of its assets including: the distillery, mining, real estate and eventually the fur division.
NAFA is 100% currently owned by the American Mink Council (AMC), Canada Fox Breeders Association (CFBA), Canada Mink Breeders Association (CMBA), and Wild Fur Shippers Council (WFSC); the principle business is the sale of raw fur pelts. NAFA is the largest fur auction house in North America, and the third largest fur auction in the world, currently handling over seven million mink pelts annually. Pelts are received on a consignment basis from both North American and European fur farmers and trappers of which offerings are auctioned every February and May in Toronto, Canada.
The Company currently handles Ranch Mink; Ranch Fox and all varieties of wild fur including Beaver, Raccoon, Sable, Muskrat, Wild Mink, Lynx, Lynx Cat Otter, Red Fox, and Coyote. NAFA sells its fur pelts under the NAFA quality brand label and conducts a significant international advertising and promotion program for its NAFA brand in partnership with its customers and world renowned fashion designers.
Only the highest quality and very best pelts receive the various NAFA brand labels starting with the Black NAFA Label. The Black NAFA label defines and depicts the ultimate in luxury with its velvet soft low nap and exquisitely rich color. Other notable NAFA brand labels are: NAFA Mink, NAFA Northern, NAFA Fox, and NAFA Velvet amongst others who also carry the Origins Assured label providing consumer confidence about the provenance of the fur origination. Meaning additional assurance that the fur pelts come from a country where local or national governance regulates the industry; an open and honest approach taken by the fur industry to the consumer.
NAFA’s corporate head office and auction facility is located in Toronto, Ontario with a satellite office in Winnipeg, Manitoba. NAFA’s U.S. head office, grading facility and pelt processing operation is located in Stoughton, Wisconsin. NAFA also has a state-of-the art grading facility in Poland and a European mink representative office in Holland.
Saga Furs Oyj, Finnish Furs Sales, is a fur auction house. The oyj denotes that it is a public company in Finnish-Swedish, currently listed on the NASDAQ OMX Nordic.
“To promote the Saga Furs label in key markets” is the defined role of Saga Furs and the world-renowned brand guarantees it.
Finnish Fur Sales, founded in 1938 by the Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association thrived from humble beginnings. Hosting the first international fur auction in 1950, the Saga Furs label house who stocks themselves with premier quality and sustainable furs that are available to them by obtaining the best of the best from strictly regulated European farms. With a top-notch grading system, they are able to promise their customers that they are going to be fully satisfied when they receive their furs. When the Saga Furs Design Centre opened in 1988, this gave them the opportunity to show the fashion world that they are able to produce new and innovative ways to work with fur, and are able to share that with fur enthusiasts in all aspects of the meaning.
Saga Furs Oyj holds 4-5 fur auctions per calendar year internationally specializing in fox, finnraccoon and mink products that are marketed globally. Saga Furs unites different facets of the fashion industry by connecting and partnering with fashion houses and manufacturers of clothing to fur breeders and suppliers, they are constantly at the center of it all. Saga Furs is truly a one of a kind company and consumers know who they can count on when they are in need of fur and fashion alike.
Kopenhagen Fur Auction House
Danish Fur Breeders Association (DFBA) owns and manages Kopenhagen Fur and was founded in 1930. Since the DFBA owns Kopenhagen Fur, they make up the board of directors and have a significant influence on what the companies partakes in. DFBA not only represents the Danish fur breeders of Denmark, but they also represent in the European Union in Political Affairs. Kopenhagen fur, which represents the association and the auction house, moved to Glostrup, Denmark in 1963 and has 400 employees. Kopenhagen Fur is the DFBA’s organization for sales and they sell furs from their members and other suppliers. The first sources that provide information on the first sale of fur dates back to the middle ages around 1924 in Denmark.