Over the past three years, The GreenShows has been the premier showcase of sustainable design during New York Fashion Week. This time around, the shows were finally invited to be an official part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week — a big step for eco-fashion if you ask me. Instead of several days filled with runway shows, the organizers opted for a presentation format this time around. Featured designers were United Bamboo, Bamboo by United Bamboo, H. Fredriksson, Study NY, The Battalion, Luis Valenzuela, Ajna, and Artists & Revolutionaries. (Read more about the designers below.)
The show was styled by two of the industry’s rising talents, stylist Julie Ragolia, Fashion Editor of 7th Man Magazine, and Aushim Raswant, Creative Director and Executive Producer of communications and programming firm, 3V. Victoria Simes, jewelry designer and stylist for Zero Maria Cornejo, accompanied the duo with a curated ethical accessories installation using pieces from her own collection as well as from jewelry designers Natalie Frigo, Nettie Kent, East Fourth Street, Ursa Major Collection and Erika Lauren Design, and handbag designers Shannon South-Remade USA, Collina Strada, and The Sway.
The GreenShows were well-attended by eco-fashionistas, editors and celebrities — including Shalom Harlow, Coco Rocha, Amanda Hearst, Summer Rayne-Oakes, and Director of Fashion at Lincoln Center, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff — alike.
United Bamboo, a fashion collective developed by Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham, is best known for its artistic approach to fashion and the cross-cultural mash-up of media in music, fashion, and art. Their use of patterns and fabrics in both new and practical applications, inventive rethinking of traditional designs, as well as a commitment to produce more goods locally, has started put the company on the sustainable fashion map.
Launched in Spring 2011 and inspired by the birth of her first child, Bamboo By is an organic “room wear” collection by United Bamboo designer Miho Aoki. Bamboo By uses certified organic cottons, linens, and hemp, and its silhouettes are easy and comfortable. Each garment is machine-washable and softens with wear.
H. Fredriksson is a Brooklyn-based label that’s designed with a modern, artistic, and sustainable conscious purpose. Designer Helena Fredriksson creates exclusive textile prints inspired by her own photographs and drawings. With a sense of both past and present, the designer’s belief in traditional craft is epitomized in the mindful fabric choices in each collection, which is manufactured in New York City using ethical production methods.
Study NY is a high-concept brand primarily produced in New York City and, in 2011, won the Ecco Domani award for sustainable design. A strong and driving presence among young sustainable designers, designer Tara St. James facilitates discussions about the intersection of sustainability, ethical sourcing and product innovation and lends her talent and skills to various organizations, including The Uniform Project and Peru’s Awamaki indigenous weaver collective.
Los Angeles based cult clothing brand The Battalion is a modern purveyor of green luxury. Designer Linda Wong spots the most coveted trends and sources the latest conscious materials such as bamboo, Organic cotton, faux fur and peace silk, and uses them to design a collection that is as tasteful as it is conscious.
Luis Valenzuela is an ethical fashion designer and visual artist born in Caracas, Venezuela. A pioneer in green art and eco-friendly fashion, he is the founder of EcoArtFashion and EcoArtFashion Week. Valenzuela has shown at previous GreenShows as well as museums and art galleries around the world, including The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Miami.
Ajna is a four-year-old NYC-based label that embraces beauty and simplicity while using only certified Organic and sustainable textiles. Designed by Hong Kong-born designer Beryl Man, who has designed for notable brands such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan Collection and, most recently, Narciso Rodriguez, and was named a New York designer to watch by WWD, Ajna effortlessly invokes intelligence and unexpected elegance into these timeless garments.
Artists & Revolutionaries is an eco-friendly fashion label based in Brooklyn, NY. Designer John Michael utilizes repurposed leather, cashmere, and organic cottons to create fashion forward pieces with a conscience. A graduate of Parsons School of Art and Design in Paris, John Michael started Artists & Revolutionaries in Brooklyn in 2010, with only 500 dollars and a borrowed sewing machine. He’s come a long way since.
“This is a very special moment in the history of The GreenShows,” says Owner & CEO Harvey Russack. “We are delighted to offer our designers this terrific opportunity to showcase their beautiful apparel and accessories. Our mission has always been to present trend-setting, ethical and sustainable luxury to the elite fashion community.”
Moving into Lincoln Center, fashion’s center of power during New York Fashion Week, has certainly made The GreenShows a force to be reckoned with not just within eco-fashion, but Fashion (with a big F) in general. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for these amazing designers.