ALI HEWSON’S NEW MEN: Edun is putting its men’s business in the spotlight this season via an online marketing campaign featuring a roster of guys with both style and substance. Launched this week on edun.com, the dozen participants in the “Pioneers Project” are actors, artists, social activists and entrepreneurs, including Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms shoes; Adam Braun, the founder of Pencils of Promise; Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa, founders of online eyewear retailer Warby Parker; Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com, and Jim Moriarty, founder of the Surfrider Foundation.
This story first appeared in the September 8, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“These are real men doing great things, who are thinking outside the box,” said Ali Hewson, who founded Edun in 2005 with her husband, Bono. “We haven’t really marketed the men’s line before, and we felt this collection really deserved the proper attention.”
Each month through December, three of the “pioneers” will be featured on the Edun e-commerce site, along with selected food, culture and charity blogs. The company will donate 10 percent of online sales for certain items worn by each personality during that month.
About 60 percent of Edun sales are in women’s and 40 percent in men’s. The brand — which is a for-profit company that aims to develop trade with Africa — is sold in 140 doors in North America. Hewson and Bono own 51 percent of Edun, while partner LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton owns 49 percent.
Hewson and Bono will celebrate the “Pioneers” launch on Sunday with a dinner at the Harlem restaurant Red Rooster, which is owned by chef Marcus Samuelsson, who is also in the Edun campaign.
Along with the Edun business, Hewson is co-founder with Bryan Meehan of the Nude skin care line, which is based in London. In February, LVMH acquired a 70 percent controlling stake in that company as well. “Fashion has been a huge learning curve, and I’ve loved every moment of it,” said Hewson, who has spent much of the last three years on the road with her husband’s record-breaking U2 360˚ Tour. Bono will return the favor by attending the Edun fashion show on Sunday, said Hewson.