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There was a time when “vegan vogue” was an oxymoron. Catwalks had been overflowing with fur and unique skins, fake leather-based was shiny, plasticky and low cost, and designers would snicker on the concept of sending collections free from animal-based supplies down the catwalks. Fashion Week was a spot the place dead-animal skins had been paraded and confirmed off, celebrated and revered.
Fast ahead to as we speak. Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Versace, Burberry and numerous different designers have proudly proclaimed that they may not be utilizing fur. Over 300 manufacturers everywhere in the world have refused to make use of mohair and angora of their collections. Leather is now produced from apples, cacti, wine grapes and pineapples – even Hermes is making a bag produced from mushroom leather-based. And Vegan Fashion Week is the most popular occasion on the style calendar.
Founded by stylist Emmanuelle Rienda in Los Angeles, Vegan Fashion Week is a celebration of the innovation, sophistication and pleasure behind up to date vegan vogue. Joy as a result of due to occasions like this, vegan vogue has moved past its joyless previous and brought a step into the creativity and playfulness in any other case reserved for mainstream vogue.
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The first-ever Vegan Fashion Week occasion was held in February 2019, over a protracted weekend that featured quite a lot of reveals and talks, and received the eye of publications equivalent to VOGUE. Kate Nash, Mena Suvari and Moby had been only a few of its most well-known attendees.
“I wish to ignite conversations and debates inside the trade by educating, elevating and drawing connections between our most essential values; our respect for human life, animal rights, and the setting,” said Rienda to Dezeen on the time. Her background is within the vogue trade – as the previous supervisor of a showroom of Parisian vogue in LA, she discovered herself questioning vogue’s promotion of fur, unique skins and different animal-derived textiles as soon as she discovered, by way of totally different animal rights organisations, about the place they actually got here from and the devastating story behind them – considered one of excessive cruelty, environmental destruction and human rights violations. This led her to begin Vegan Fashion Week – however she believes the combat continues to be lengthy from received, and that one of many stepping stones lies in uniting the ideas of veganism and sustainability.
“The concern I’ve with the sustainable vogue trade is that they think about some animal merchandise nonetheless okay. They have ‘eco-leather,’ ‘eco-wool,’” Rienda has said to LiveKindly.“You can’t say it’s sustainable vogue if you’re utilizing animals in your course of — it’s completely pointless and never sustainable.”
Rienda is true: trade reviews have discovered leather to be essentially the most polluting materials current in vogue, as a consequence of its use of poisonous chemical substances – but additionally as a result of excessive environmental value of elevating animals for vogue, which implies that “vegetable-tanned” leather-based shouldn’t be an answer to the various points leather-based presents. Wool can also be a part of animal agriculture, contributing to methane emissions and elevating the local weather change menace. As vegan vogue battles towards its former picture, marred by the stereotype that it’s all produced from plastic, Rienda and her group are main the way in which in the direction of the much-needed union between veganism and sustainability.
The manner Vegan Fashion Week goals to alter the way in which vogue appears as we speak is by educating and provoking. In 2020, as vogue was struck by the Covid-19 pandemic, Rienda opened Los Angeles showroom Vegan Fashion Library. Offering acutely aware shoppers quite a lot of animal-free manufacturers, the Library is the cutting-edge retailer we’ve been ready for. From plant leathers to vegan wools, it’s the last word buying vacation spot for as we speak’s fashionable acutely aware client.
In October, the occasion returns, and it’s higher than ever – the designers showcasing their collections on the occasion are forward-thinking and present, and their providing goes past the area of interest world of veganism, interesting to mainstream audiences. Examples that will probably be seen on the runways this 12 months embody LVMH Prize shortlisted genderless label Nous Etudions, South Korean animal-free model Vegan Tiger, edgy attire and equipment model Fan All Flames, and unisex streetwear label Pure Void. Interspersed with panel talks, movie screenings and networking occasions, the two-day occasion is certain to be as buzzing as its earlier iterations – if not much more so.
Vegan Fashion Week is held in Los Angeles 8-9 October. For extra info, go to veganfashionweek.org.
Cover picture through Vegan Fashion Week.