A Recap Of Our FAV Ethical Designers From February Fashion Week

While many of us are celebrating Labor Day today, there are others of us who are gearing up for the start of Fashion Week! It's about that time when street style is at it's peak and Twitter fingers are moving a mile per minute.

We love boasting about the latest "trends" but we're far more fascinated with the real luxury brands who are flooding New York - yes the collections that are sustainable! It's not easy being a consciously chic fashion designer but that's why we're here to pay homage to the pioneers who are doing it right. We want to acknowledge some of our favorite luxury brands that strutted their eco fibers, artisan crafted creations and socially charged messages on the NYFW runway last season. This is just a warm up for the sustainable sexiness that coming our way starting this Thursday. 

Autumn/ Winter 2016 RECAP:

BROTHER VELLIES

Accessories from Brother Vellies was the talk of the town at NYFW Autumn/ Winter ’16 with their new boot collection. Sustainability is the foundation of Brother Vellies’ mission, providing their customers traditional African Footwear that is actually handmade in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco. The designs, envisioned by Founder and Creative Director, Aurora James, are handmade by local African artisans. This has created a sustainable network between James and the crafters. From their choice of leather to the impact of their carbon footprint, Brother Vellies is completely transparent and more importantly has beautifully crafted products. 

The press surrounding Brother Vellies celebrates the company’s ambitious contribution to the world of fashion using sustainable methods to create luxurious shoes and accessories. Teen Vogue, April 2015 issue, featured James and Brother Vellies as a company who is making a difference in the world of fashion internationally and globally.

PYER MOSS (feat. Erykah Badu)

 Kerby Jean-Richmond & Erykah Badu: Credit Getty Images

Kerby Jean-Richmond & Erykah Badu: Credit Getty Images

NYFW Autumn/Winter ‘16 featured collections from designers making a mark on important social issues. Through fashion, Pyer Moss and style icon Erykah Badu put on a luxury menswear show that spoke volumes about our society. The collection, designed by Kerby Jean-Richmond and styled by Badu, acquired the groundbreaking theme of mental illness meets fashion. Jean-Richmond’s 2015 show was entitled “DOUBLE BIND”, a take on the growing BLACK LIVES MATTER movement. So last February when Jean-Richmond teamed up with social activist Badu, the audiences was in for something to take their breathe away. The show touched on the issues of depression, the use of prescription anti depressants, and Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn M McCarrel II, who had committed suicide earlier that week, saying in a social media post, “My Demons Won Today I’m Sorry.” This awareness Jean-Richmond has brought to the world of fashion, but also the black community is an important call to action. A taboo too many black individuals refuse to acknowledge as a serious issue, is something the Black Lives Matter movement needs to be discussing and it's very relevant to the sustainability of fashion and culture.

  Credit: Getty Images

 Credit: Getty Images

  Credit: Getty Images

 Credit: Getty Images

MAIYET

Maiyet, a modern luxury women’s fashion brand, believes in benefit of working with international artisans to create breathtaking handcrafted pieces of art. Working with NEST, a non-for-profit organization that is focused on training and developing artisan business, works with many of the communities that contribute to Maiyet’s sustainable luxury. With not only this partnership, there are many others who work within Maiyet’s mission to not only supply a luxury brand but also a secure and profitable working experiences for their international artisans.Their Spring ready-to-wear collection reflected those standards, with beautifully handcrafted garments modeling impeccable minimalistic detail. Also, we just love the diversity that Maiyet continues to show on the runway!

Maiyet Autumn/Winter 2016 Ready-To-Wear Collection

 

YEOHLEE

Designer Yeohee Teng is a veteran when it comes to sustainable fashion. 34+ years in the fashion design arena and she can constantly kept the same mission, 'zero waste for the urban nomads'. Locally producing in New York, Yeohlee aims to design as sustainably as possible, utilizing zero waste design and minimal high quality fabrics. Although notorious for very intimate Fashion Week presentations, this pioneer has maintained integrity through her designs with the core of her ethos and philosophy focused on minimizing waste. She is one of the biggest advocates for saving the Garment District, even relocating her store for a time hoping to attract other retailers to Fashion Avenue.

ECKHAUS LATTA

Eckhaus Latta Autumn/Winter collection stomped the runway in Queens for NYFW. Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta are not designers who play by the rules and their show in Queens reflected that. Featuring a variety of dead stock and reclaimed materials, the duo often finds fabrics from various resources both in New York and LA, while continuing to manufacture in the United States. Their previous collection showcased models of all ages, races and gender expressions, modeling fashion’s shift to non-gender binary clothing options.

 Credit:   Eckhaus Latta

Credit:  Eckhaus Latta

 Credit:   Eckhaus Latta

Credit:  Eckhaus Latta

SUNO

The inspiration of SUNO comes from the witnessing of post-election violence in Kenya. Over years of traveling to South America and Africa, Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty teamed together to launch a high-end women’s fashion collection with a purpose. The designs stem from mainly African roots with influences from India and Peru, the collection is composed of mixing patterns, textures and embroidery that is layer together by local talent in each country, providing sustainable jobs from the many effected by economic hardship.

Dominique Drakeford