Mankind has worn fur and leather since its earliest times out of the African cradle to protect from the colder weather conditions as well as from harm. Warmth and durability, very practical aspects which no other material could provide at the time, made them unrenounceable not just for clothing, but a wide variety of other practical uses like shoes, water flasks, helmets, bags and much, much more. To this day, tribes like the Inuit who live in some of the harshest weather conditions on the planet wouldn’t be able to survive without them: their fur garments are so precious they wear them all their lives, often passing them on from one generation to the other.
Sourcing fur and leather would be complicated. You would either have to be a hunter yourself, adding an education in the knowledge of fur and leather treatment after having killed your animal of choice, or have a position of wealth where a hunter would be at your service. Thus, owing fur or leather very soon turned into a representation of wealth.
Different kinds of fur could indicate different social status. In ancient Egypt for instance a leopard skin or lion skin could be worn only by kings or high priests performing ceremony. Over in Europe, chinchilla, mink, ermine and sable were exclusive to royalty, nobility and high ranking clergy. In some early societies fur, leather and its by-products would acquire a mystical or spiritual power if worn by hunters, soldiers or the ruling classes. In short, fur soon became an indicator of social stratifications and it remained such until the 1980s when the voice of animal rights movements questioning the ethics of such products made itself stronger, with fake fur often providing a valuable option.