Blue Mink

by Lauren Collins

A few years ago, Ervin Rosenfeld was asked to make a mink jacket for the Bronx rapper Fat Joe. This would not be just any mink jacket; it had to be the pale blue of a Tiffany box, light as champagne fizz, and flattering to a man who was said to weigh three hundred and seventy pounds. Equipped with Fat Joe’s favorite North Face parka as a template, Rosenfeld set to work on the garment, for a video called “We Thuggin’.” He tracked down a skin, a white ranched female mink, and had it dyed the requested hue; after stitching the pieces together, he cut up pillows and stuffed the material between the fur and the lining, to get a quilted effect. The resulting creation, a size-XXXXXL bomber jacket, was ready for delivery in three days. But there was a problem: Fat Joe was indeed so fat that Rosenfeld didn’t have enough blue mink left to fulfill the other half of the commission – R. Kelly was meant to appear alongside Fat Joe in an identical coat.


Lauren Collins is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her six sentences are a slightly-altered version of the opening paragraph of “Mink Inc.,” her article on Ervin Rosenfeld, which appeared in the magazine’s October 23, 2006 issue.