Wednesday September 12th was a kinetic and exhilarating event in the New York Fashion Week roster. Magnifeco.com together with the New York Fair Trade Coalition (NYFTC) hosted a Fair Fashion Runway event showcasing three sustainable brands and a house full of vegan, eco-friendly and ethically produced fashion and lifestyle products. The Fair Fashion Runway event overwhelmed the mind and senses with options for the ethical fashion aficianado.
Fashion bloggers, fellow designers, friends, family, supporters, clients, and inquisitive guests entered the Wix Lounge and were immediately greeted with a host of ethical and tasty beverages and snacks, ranging from quinoa based Fair Vodka, herbal energy household name, Palo Root Tea, guayusa based tea from Runa focused energy, dark chocolate covered goji berries from Kopali Organics, and cashews from nuts + nuts.
Kibonen NY, image: Romeo Lee
Following an overwhelming re-freshening of taste and smell, attendees perused through touch and sight a host of artfully crafted accessories. Vendors, similar to the featured designers, represented countries and design methods from across the globe. Love Is Mighty, designer of the vegan shoes featured on the runway, showcased heels with elegant splashes of both metallic and embroidered colors that also help the preservation of craftsmanship among tribal artisans in India; Marquet featured a beautiful display hand woven, hand dyed shawls created from Thailand and Vietnam based artisans; Global Goods Partners, who also featured some phenomenal earrings and necklace pieces on the runway, had an array of repurposed and locally sourced accessories created by artisan partners from around the globe; and Pokuasi had a display of artfully crafted repurposed glass necklaces based in Ghana.
Mccoll&clan, image: Romeo Lee
Other companies included beautiful totes from renown sustainable brand, Digs, hand crafted artisan work from the Destiny Foundation, run by NYFTC’s co-director, Becky Bavinger, a cornicopia of artisan work from Handcrafting Justice, beautiful knitwear from the Lotus Odyssey and repurposed thrift couture and fair trade seed accessories from ReciclaGEM. The Ethical Fashion Academy, preparing for an artisan workshop in Costa Rica next month, was also represented.
Opening up the runway, Cameroon based fair trade fashion company Kibonen NY wowed the crowd with beautifully tailored A-line dresses with vibrant trims and uniquely patterned motifs, paired with the brand’s signature oversized clutches. The collection peaked at a beautiful and effervescent full length jumpsuit, patterned with a gold, red, and white-striped spiral motif, with vibrant red vegan lipstick from featured makeup artist, Lacey Elliot, to match.
REBORN by Soham Dave, image: Romeo Lee
Followed by Kibonen NY’s strong opening, New Jersey based mccoll&clan, a SEE (sustainable, eco, ethical) fashion brand, continued the trend of strong pattern motifs, but with black as the base. Signature pieces were a mesmerizing zebra-print coat with a pale pink lining and a floor length black strapless dress with a contrasting white ribbon, pleated neckline, and an embossed floral design. Closing the runway was none other than REBORN by Soham Dave, co-owned by the NYFTC’s other co-director, Nimet Degirmencioglu. As a contrast to the first brands, REBORN by Soham Dave, with the exception of a vibrant blue frock to open the collection, featured a more muted color palette with higher hems and intricate handwork instead of pattern motifs. Featuring a range of techniques native to their artisan base in India, Soham Dave featured an ethereal and refreshing collection of dresses, frocks, and blouses. And ironically enough, REBORN by Soham Dave paired very well with natural fiber based sculptural artwork Susan Springer Anderson, which adorned the walls of the room.
The Fair Fashion Runway was an event to remember. Attendees remarked that energy was infectiously positive and inspiring. The remarks from designers and vendors were the same. Fair Fashion Runway marked the beginnings of a new turn in New York Fashion Week’s energy. Not only can New York Fashion Week excite and inspire, but with events such as Fair Fashion Runway, it can help to transform the world.