Meet the Pittsburgh designer creating fursuits for the furry community | Fashion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Meet the Pittsburgh designer creating fursuits for the furry community

click to enlarge Phoebe Brown with a fursuit head - PHOTO: COURTESY OF PHOEBE BROWN
Photo: Courtesy of Phoebe Brown
Phoebe Brown with a fursuit head
Phoebe Brown initially described furries as “cringy” until 2018 when their friend dragged them to Anthrocon, the popular furry convention held in Downtown Pittsburgh. Now in 2021, not only does Brown have their own fursuit, but they’re on track to complete their fifth handmade costume to auction in the furry community.

“It’s just such a creative community,” Brown says. “It was so cool to me seeing everyone walk around in their big, furry costume.”

After attending their first Anthrocon convention, Brown designed their own “fursona” — a peryton, a mythological creature that resembles a winged deer. A few months later, they found inspiration to bring their idea to life in a 3-D fur costume. Now, they have become a fairly well-known designer in the furry world and are starting to sell more and more fursuits.


Brown says designing their first fursuit was “rough” as it took a few months, significantly longer than it takes them to create costumes now, along with numerous trips to craft supply stores to complete the project.

“I went to a furry event in Pittsburgh, and it was great," Brown says. "I wore my first suit."

Since their interest in furries began in 2018, Brown has been to four furry conventions around the country. They say while they were touring colleges, they went to the Midwest FurFest in Illinois, which is one of the largest conventions.

According to Brown, one of the most important components of a fursuit is the head of the costume. Brown says they use a base of upholstery foam with cutout pieces glued together, then carve it to craft the desired shape. Fur is added afterwards.


click to enlarge Phoebe Brown near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown - PHOTO: COURTESY OF PHOEBE BROWN
Photo: Courtesy of Phoebe Brown
Phoebe Brown near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown
Brown says they also design and craft paws and tails which they sell individually on their Etsy, ranging from $25 to $150.

For a whole fursuit, which includes head, tail, and paws, Brown says they are sold on a furry community website, The Dealer’s Den. The first fursuit Brown auctioned on The Dealer’s Den sold for $550. Their most recent piece sold for $725.

However, Brown says they aren’t taking any commissions for their designs as of now since they will soon begin their fall semester at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Currently, Brown is excited about working on a new alligator fursuit, which is much different from their other work. The alligator fursuit will be available to purchase on The Dealer’s Den when it is completed.

Anthrocon, one of the nation’s most popular furry conventions, has held its home in Pittsburgh each summer since 2006. Anthrocon’s 2020 and 2021 events were held online, but plan to return in-person at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in the summer of 2022.

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