There have always been Canadian Connections in the Bond Films, some are more obvious than others, and some are a bit more obscure. Throughout the Bond Franchise, many Companies have provided vehicles, wardrobe, and just about anything else you see on screen in the 007 Films. Product Placement has evolved into “Bond Branding” and the usual suspects such as Aston Martin, Omega & Bollinger are now only a small slice of the Bond pie.
Brands such as Orlebar Brown and N. Peal have provided clothing for the James Bond Films in recent years, and now along with aligned Marketing Campaigns and entire Bond-inspired Clothing Lines available, these partnerships have generated clear connections between 007, and what you might see him wearing on-screen. With a little help from Canadian Publication MacLeans and The New York Times we’re going to rewind the clock back to 1977 and examine a quintessential Canadian Industry, the Fur Trade, and the Legendary Canadian Company, Grosvenor Furs and their connection to the James Bond Franchise.
As most Bond Fans are aware, the Opening Sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me was filmed in Baffin Island, Canada. It should come as no surprise that when it came time to keeping a Bond Girl Warm in that mountain cabin, she’d be wearing a Canadian Fur, provided by Grosvenor Canada, as seen in the Screen Credits above.
Grosvenor Furs was founded by brothers Denis & Billy Grosvenor in 1950. When they opened their factory in Montreal they had only 8 employees. That same year they won The Canadian Fur Trade Annual Exhibition & Competition with a coat they entered. Their success and expansion continued across Canada and by the mid-sixties their Furs were sold at Luxury Canadian Retailers such Toronto’s Eaton Centre and Holt Renfrew.
The Grosvenor Furs Logo was distinctively Canadian with the Maple Leaf appearing boldly within the Company’s Name. The Canadian Fur Market represented about $20 Million in 1973, whereas the Fur Market in Germany alone was close to $750 Million. Grosvenor Furs President Martin Landau realized that the American & European Markets were going to be the key to Grosvenors’ continued growth and success. By the mid-seventies, Grosvenor had conquered America & Europe. Their furs were being sold at American Luxury Retailers Bonwit Teller & Bergdorf Goodman. Across the pond things were were shaping up nicely as well. Grosvenor Furs were now being sold exclusively in the Fur Salon at Harrods.
Eventually sales of furs across the globe declined, with consumer awareness for animal welfare. Grosvenor Furs continued to do business around the world but ultimately closed their Montreal Factory in the 2000’s. Their Logo went through several iterations throughout their 50 year history. The Black Text became an Iconic Canadian Red, and the Maple Leaf was still prominently featured. One of their Final Print Campaigns from 1999 showcasing a white mink Parka & a Black Mink Coat is featured below.
Now if you want to keep a Bond Girl warm in Canada, she’ll need to be wearing fur coat..it gets cold up in those snow covered mountain cabins. In the Spy Who Loved Me, Actress Sue Vanner, playing the character of Martine Blanchaud is wearing a Full Length Collared White Mink from Grosvenor Furs. She looks beautiful and toasty warm too. This Bond Canadian Connection is by far one of the Best in the Franchise.