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Fishing Suppliers' Feathers Are Flying: ‘Saddle Hackles’ Wanted as Hair Accessories


feathers gucci fall 2011
Photo: Getty Images
Pony up: Feathers were worn in the hair on Gucci's Fall 2011 runway.

Die-hard fashionistas have been known to search far and wide for the must-have accessory du jour, but fly-fishing suppliers? This must be a first.

According to the Independent, fishing suppliers’ stocks of a certain feather used by anglers to lure salmon and trout are getting cleaned out by salons around the world, which want the feathers as hair accessories. Hilary Duff, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, and other Hollywood style-mavens have adopted the boho style, which has apparently sparked worldwide demand. Feathers were was also seen in models' hair on the Gucci Fall 2011 runway (left).

The feathers in question, called saddle hackles, reportedly come from roosters that have been genetically manipulated to produce extra-long plumes.

"Hairdressers are searching the entire world for these feathers," Nick Powell, who works for Troutcatchers in Northamptonshire, England, told the paper. "I've never known a phenomenon like this." Powell recently turned down a £4,000 order (about $6,533 U.S.) from California.

The feathers, which come in an array of colors, are reaching prices of more than 10 times what they went for just a few months ago, but angling suppliers are so low on stock that they’re hesitant to part with their saddle hackles.

"It's war between the hair industry and the fly-fishing industry," said Michelle Slatter of online supplier Head of Hair.

This could get ugly ...

In related news, check out fashion's other favorite way to wear feathers.


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