Vintage Borgazia by Sportowne high end Made New York sleek black faux fur leather coat Givenchy Fetish 1960s 1970s Velvet Underground Warhol
Wow this is special. Please note the leather is an integral part of the coat it is NOT a belt.
It's a Borgazia, a specific type of very high end faux fur made at the time to resemble faux seal, it is that sleek soft and dense black; but the leather is real.
The company that led production and retail of the coats as well as other speciality fauxs, were New York's Sportowne, and Borgazia was no normal borg faux fur: it retailed at $12 a yard, or over £100 in today's money.
For a yard. No surprise, they also produced all the borg faux furs for Paris Fashion House Givenchy in their 17 US stores throughout the USA in the late 1960s early 1970s.
You can read about Sportowne and legendary boss Morton Metzger, a tango dancer, here. This is NYT from 1964
Was their origins as a knitting mill that they pioneered these extremely high quality faux fur design coats the like of which cannot be sourced now.
"Among other things, Sportowne is relying upon a tie up with Borg Fabrics, a principal supplier of simulated fur fabric, in promotion of couture coat fashion by Hubert de Givenchy, the
Parisian designer. Sportowne, a division of Morris Metzger & Sons, Inc., has the exclusive rights to manufacture the Borg‐Givenchy line in the United States.In addition to Borg Fabrics
which are produced by a division of the Bunker Ramo Corporation, Sportowne will utilize synthetic fabrics made by LaFrance Industries, a division of the Riegel Textile Corporation, and
imported fabrics.....Borgana can be described as simulated beaver fur, and Borgazia as simulated seal....The fabrics have been improved to provide more density and a better hand, as
well as improved drape ability."
"Plush fabrics such as velvet and velveteen, have a long history. The pile fabrics, which might be described as deeper plushes, are of more recent vintage. It took a knitting mill,
however, to pioneer the fake furs.
The story goes that the late George Borg, owner of a knitting mill, was producing deep-pile fabrics for paint rollers. One of the colors coming off looked attractive enough for coating,
and he took the fabric to Seventh Avenue. This was in the late 1940's.
Apparently it caught on, and other knitters began producing the fabric also. Mr. Borg named his “Borgana” "
By 1970, Sportowne dominated the high end faux fur coat market in USA; and Borgazia that mimicked faux seal was the piece de resistance of Metzger's Sportowne label.
It's a remarkable story. And if we are not careful in the world of today's global fast fashion and utilitarianism we shall lose the historical importance of such.
By the mid 70s & 80s Borgazia became much more mass produced & not the same density of faux fur, but this period Sportwone produced some very special pieces. This is one of them.