It's made of "astrakhan fur." What's that? I look it up:
Astrakhan... is, properly speaking, the tightly curled fleece of the fetal or newborn karakul (also spelled caracul) lamb....I've got a "wait, what?" of my own. Why are people more disturbed by using the fur of a never-born creature? Are people thinking it's better to kill a newborn lamb because at least the little lamb got some life? How does that fit with the (perhaps grudging) acceptance of abortion and complete rejection of infanticide?
This may be the part where you are thinking “fetal or... wait, what!?!”.
Yes, the most desirable form of astrakhan is that from a lamb 15-30 days away from being born....
Here's a NYT article from 2005:
Most astrakhan lambs, according to the fur industry, are killed within days or weeks of their birth because as they age, the quality of their wool quickly changes from tightly curled rows to a more coarse and wiry pelt. And some examples, called broadtail, often considered the most desirable, are the skins of unborn lambs.Unquestioned in that article is the assumption that people are upset — or would be upset if they knew — by the use of fetal fur. Why isn't it — great, I can feel fine wearing fur because it's from a fetus? I could imagine an abortion-rights supporter saying that what's wrong is that the ewe didn't want the abortion. It's a forced abortion. And in some fetus harvesting the ewe is killed. Presumably, the slaughtered ewe becomes meat, so it's not wasteful or gratuitous killing of a sheep. But I don't think the objection to fetus fur over born-lamb fur is about concern for the mother. She loses her baby either way. I'm just noticing the instinctive human disgust for the use of a fetus, even among those who accept the use of the baby animal. Discuss.
"That's just a little too much," said the designer Carmen Marc Valvo, explaining why he draws the line at using fetal lambs.... Albert Kriemler, the designer of Akris, said he would never use broadtail from a lamb fetus... Several designers would not directly answer whether the furs they call astrakhan come from fetal lambs... Prada, which has frequently identified its product as broadtail, did not respond to numerous inquiries. A spokeswoman for Mr. Armani said the fur described as astrakhan in his fall collection is not fetal lamb....
Julie Gilhart, the fashion director of Barneys, acknowledged that many people are not aware of where astrakhan comes from. "This is not something that is usually discussed around fashion tables," Ms. Gilhart said. "Information is everything, and if people know the origins of what they are buying, I think they can actually make better decisions as to what to buy, what not to buy. On the other hand," she added, "buying fashion is an emotional act. If something is perceived as beautiful, sometimes all reasoning goes out the window."