In 1899, there was no sensitivity to 'politically correct' issues. People just kept bumping into each other without thought — regarding race, creed, color, religion, belief, human rights, animal rights, on and on. And why not — the world still ran under Newtonian physics, resources were inexhaustible, imperialism was a way of life, two world wars were decades away, women still didn't vote, and the thought of animal extinction was relegated to just the Dodo Bird.
So, to put an illustration on the cover of Jugend magazine of a woman wearing a polar bear stole would not offend anyone and may or not have been a fashion statement to the editors. But when one goes further back in the magazine and sees a 'man stole', well then, perhaps we can consider the whole thing as a joke.
Or, I dunno, maybe that's an arctic wolf. Still . . .
Above and below, Jugend magazine — 1899