Reich Furs was founded in the 1940s post-WWII when trailblazing women planted seeds of change for women in future generations. Fur was a woman’s choice – her own purchase. Charlie Reich, originally a skin trader, saw the tides change and fashioned modern coats for women who were silver screen goddesses in their own homes. That was then.
Today, the traditions continue in New York City, where Reich Furs serves as a creative hub for designers and technicians to collaborate on innovative and luxurious fur outerwear, accessories, and trimmings. Reich Furs has evolved into a vertically integrated fashion organization encompassing international fur sourcing, development, manufacturing and distribution. Staff is available for design consultation on custom pieces and fur maintenance on existing pieces such as cold storage, cleaning, refurbishing and remodeling.
Reich Furs is the secret weapon behind many of the most highly coveted American, European and Asian brands. The pieces are often seen on the runways during New York, London, and Paris fashion week as well as on the backs of the most sought-after celebrities and influencers. Go to any one of the top global luxury department stores or boutiques and chances are you will find Reich Furs product.
Meet Maria Reich
Finish the sentence: When I’m not the Fur Boss I...
I am a student. I am constantly schooled by my children, the people around me, industry leaders. I am always looking for ways to be inspired, all so that I become an inspiration to others.
Three words that describe Maria:
Humbled, generous of spirit, resilient.
Which are the three-main core values a woman should apply in her daily life?
Gratitude: My sons and I sit at the kitchen table each day and write on a piece of paper what we are grateful for, then add it to our Gratitude Jar. Even on our worst days, taking that time to show appreciation for life and the people in it is what truly keeps me going. There are so many hurdles, but when you have gratitude it reminds you that the struggles are worth it.
Authenticity: Being real is what draws people to you, it’s what makes people trust you and believe in you. There is nothing more exhausting than trying to be something you’re not, plus everyone only wants the real deal.
Liberate from your fear: Letting go of fear brings peace of mind. You just have to trust in yourself and the process.
Which do you believe is the biggest struggle as a working woman?
Keeping the static out of my being. There is no “I can’t,” or “no time.” There is only “I will.” I remind myself that I can ALWAYS make it work and that’s because I have to.
What was the biggest challenge you found at the beginning of your career?
At the beginning of my career, one of my biggest challenges was staying authentic and not allowing anyone to define who I was. The start of anyone’s career is what shapes them and I had to keep myself in check, while also being unapologetic for my hustle.
Who inspired you to continue going on? How did it happen?
There was never an option for me to not continue on. I admire anyone who can walk through life with strength and grace, people who can handle their business, even through the toughest of times or through adversity. I am empowered with the knowledge that I can start over at any time. Losing my husband, Eddie this past summer was a true test of this. I’ve had to navigate it for myself, my two young sons and our family business. I am still figuring it out, but I am doing so with grace.
How did you decide to start working with Oscar de la Renta?
When Mr. De La Renta called, I showed up. It was an honor of a lifetime.
I read in your blog you have supported charities such as National MS Society. Which other charities do you support and what moves you to do so?
The Edward Reich Memorial Fund, established by the FIT Alumni Association. Eddie was such a gift to the fur industry, so with this great loss, it only feels right to support the future of the industry in his honor.
In what way do you believe you are breaking boundaries for other women with your particular activity?
I am an empowered person and I am setting my own standards. I have had obstacles in my life, but it has never been about what happened, it is been about how I will handle it. I refuse to operate from fear. I am constantly extinguishing the cloud of doubt put on me by others. There are always many doors to choose from in life. I’ve learned my biggest competition in life is myself. Breaking boundaries? What boundaries?
In an industry that’s predominantly headed by men, what kind of changes would you like to see happening to allow more women to be in charge?
I wish for anyone to be authentic and to be unapologetic in life and to seek what they believe they deserve. Women need to stop saying “I’m sorry” and start going after what is theirs. I hope that women will support each other’s greatness. Real queens fix each other’s crowns.
How do you envisage the future of women in fashion?
I see more and more women owning their power and becoming the bosses they were meant to be, in fashion and in all other facets as well. Hustle hard and therest will come naturally.