The new catch phrase in the coat business is "precious fibers." Coats made of such fibers camel's hair, cashmere and to a lesser extent, alpaca and vicuna are leading fall sales at Saks Fifth Avenue.
"It parallels what has been happening in retailing in general," said Susan Hughes, the fashion director for better ready-to-wear at Saks. "The upper rung is selling."
The so-called precious-fiber coats may be replacing shearling, last year's hot seller, as an alternative for affluent consumers who do not want to buy fur.