Fabulous Through the Years: A Timeline

Driving to a fur salon in 1988, thrilled to be treating herself to a full-length mink coat, Donna chanced to hear a radio broadcast describing kittens being skinned alive by a London toy manufacturer to become “mink” teddy bears. As a devoted cat lover, the story immediately brought to light for her the horrific suffering of animals used in the fur industry. Donna realized at that moment that fashion didn’t need to come at the cost of cruelty, and Fabulous-Furs was soon born. 

From the basement of her Cincinnati home, Donna launches Fabulous-Furs selling a single product, a faux fur coat sewing kit.

Loretta Swit reads about Fabulous-Furs in the San Francisco Chronicle and becomes first celebrity customer! Stefanie Powers follows. Word spreads throughout the entertainment industry and Fabulous-Furs begins to appear on-screen--such as Another World, Designing Women and Sleepless In Seattle, and more!

Finished ready-to-wear coats and accessories replace Donna's sewing kits, and rapid growth spreads with operations across four Covington, KY buildings. Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown becomes a customer and great friend, along with Broadway, Disney, TV, and movie costume designers. Radio icon Paul Harvey profiles Fabulous-Furs, and phone lines flash for a solid week. 

CNN’s Lou Dobbs profiles Fabulous-Furs, complete with a fashion show and interview atop CNN studios with the NY skyline as backdrop. 

Our throws receive praise in The Wall Street Journal. A People Magazine feature followed. Shortly thereafter an internet order is placed from Buckingham Palace Lane–does the Queen surf the Web!? 

Operations move to our current 110,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Covington, KY. Fashion editorial grows, both in print—Allure, Lucky, British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan—and on TV—Today Show, The View, CBC Morning Show. 

Nordstrom launches Fabulous-Furs, and Donna continues work on a Fabulous-Furs cruelty-free alternative for the British beefeater hats (which used two bear skins each). 

Fifteen Miss USA/Universe semi-finalists, each wearing Fabulous-Furs, appear in a 14-minute prime-time extravaganza airing worldwide. QVC launches Fabulous-Furs. 

On a publicity roll, Fabulous-Furs get three full-page features in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, following a WSJ style feature mixing Dolce & Gabanna, Michael Kors and Fabulous-Furs. Kate Moss, in Tom Ford couture topped with a Fabulous-Furs wrap, fills a page in British Vogue. In his Tonight Show monologue, Jay Leno mentions Fabulous-Furs. Finishing with a flourish, just in time for Christmas, Fabulous-Furs donates more than 4,000 coats, jackets and accessories to local schools, non-profits. 

Celebrating our 25th Anniversary, we’re thrilled our Fabulous-Furs label is sold in over 1,000 high-end retail doors. Gorgeous Kate Upton wearing little but Fabulous-Furs accessories stars in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Antarctica photo shoot. Meanwhile, Donna designs "gorilla-wear" to help save Cincinnati Zoo’s abandoned newborn gorilla and is thrilled when her design is featured on Today Show, Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline. A flurry of activity: we saw repeated sell-outs on multiple days at ShopHQ, our TV shopping network partner; we proudly sponsored a faux fur design competition at Parsons School of Fashion after Donna teaches a master class; and we received fashion editorials in Oprah Magazine, People Magazine’s Stylewatch, InStyle & Bride’s Magazine. Our Ivory Ruched throw and pillows appeared in a NY penthouse sofa in Architectural Digest to close the year!   

Oprah’s Favorite Thing, a Fabulous-Fur coat, appears on the December cover of O Magazine, worn by Oprah herself! The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book devotes the first two pages to our faux fur ice scraper.
We loved seeing Jennifer Hudson in O Magazine in Fabulous-Furs! Meanwhile, our White Mink works overtime on exquisite Daisy Fuentes in multiple changes at her winter wonderland Aspen wedding to Richard Marx. In three full-length White Mink Coats for TV's Hot in Cleveland plus a full-length White Mink and two stoles for “Marilyn Monroe” at Universal Studios. NBC’s Mysteries of Laura gets an entire wardrobe of Fabulous-Furs, and the FOX drama Empire ordered nine Fabulous-Furs for Cookie!  

Donna gets a fabulous welcome "Down Under" when she travels to Sydney to appear on TVSN, Australia’s premier shopping network.  Illustrating the universal appeal of cruelty-free faux furs, more than 30 Fabulous-Furs designs quickly sell out. We always love being included in fashion magazine editorials, but being featured in Forbes was really fabulous! 

What a thrill to see “Carole King” walk onstage in a Fabulous-Furs parka in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical! Not just at NYC’s Sondheim, but in theaters across the globe as road companies perform throughout the USA as well as in Japan & Australia in the inspiring Tony & Grammy-winning musical. Donna repeats sell-out appearances in April & May on Australia’s TVSN. 

Ecstatic to be invited, we send coats to Monaco for the Grand Prix event at Le Meridian Beach Plaza, overlooking a yacht-filled harbor.  Meantime, Donna receives YWCA Career Women of Achievement award before a crowd of 2,200. The Wall Street Journal features our Truffle Chinchilla Couture throw in living color and Donna is inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame.  Maria Menounos closes a fabulous year wearing two Fabulous-Furs while hosting the Times Square New Years Even telecast!

Beautiful, smart and talented Miss USA Cheslie Kryst wears our Arctic Fox hooded coat as she heads to participate in the Miss Universe competition.  Our LUXE Collection debuts before a crowd at a dazzling 30th anniversary party celebrated at Hotel Covington.  Meanwhile, we're honored to send a beautifully-monogrammed Sable coat to Queen Elizabeth, now fur-free in the UK.

Hours before a demo crew begins an extensive renovation on our showroom in early February, iconic rockers KISS announce they’ll be arriving by jet to shop! A shopping experience for nine climactically concludes with an invitation to 12 of our staff to attend the concert beginning a few hours later at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. Royal treatment includes backstage passes, food, drink and photos—all orchestrated by the lovely, gracious and personable Paul Stanley and company! Weeks later, when COVID strikes, our sewing workroom almost instantly pivots to mask-making! With deep gratitude, we help protect local hospitals and first responders while much of the world shelters-in-place for the next year! Writer/socialite Cat Marnell, in New York Magazine, names our pocket shrug--“like a portable blanket”--her favorite online COVID purchase! We love helping Dress for Success--especially when 50 of our throws generates a $10,000 donation to their bottom line.  

In January, Cincy Chic names Donna Woman of the Year. Virtually fur-free, the World has caught up with the faux fur revolution we began in 1989!