Nutria fashion hits New York runway

by Mary Tutwiler

Some trends go viral, racing around the internet in hours, and then fall off the map just as quickly. Others take a while to build, and those are the ones that are here to stay. Good thing nutria fashion is a slow-go. Cree McCree, a New Orleans environmentalist and designer has designed a line of nutria clothing dubbed Righteous Fur. Her aim was to create a fashion trend using the bane of the wetlands, nutria. Create a demand and the market will take over, helping to keep the marsh grass chomping swamp rats under control.

Her first fashion shows were in New Orleans and Thibodaux. That was a few years ago. This week, she hit the runways of New York. A fashion Nutria-palooza will take place at the House of Yes, an art space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday.

Sponsored by theĀ  is the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation, the show is as much an environmental education opportunity as it is a fashion statement. For the fur-phobic, nutria, says McCree is a guilt free way to go.

And nutria fur is making inroads. According to the New York Times, designers like Billy Reid, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta have incorporated nutria lining or trim in recent collections.

It's a start. Now if we could only persuade Rachael Ray to come up with a nutria spaghetti sauce, we'd save the wetlands for sure.