A look at environmentally conscious happenings from around the world.
Can fur be politically and environmentally correct? Yes, according to Nikolas Gleber, the scion of a conservationist father and grandfather, founder of the carrot-top only model agency Redhead and idea generator in the fashion and lifestyle arenas. His new pet project, Friendly Fur, uses the certified pelts of German red foxes shot in ecologically mandated population culls.
Rather than let the skins go to waste, he fashions them into glamorous capes, stoles, hats, muffs and a variety of other accessories such as fox slip-ons for the arms of sunglasses. The collection comprises 15 items and each style is limited to 100 pieces. When all pieces are sold the style is removed from the line.
Designed in Berlin and manufactured regionally, the collection debuted last summer at the Premium trade show’s Green Area, and is currently sold “by demand” until agents are found and official sales start in 2009. Prices run up to 1,500 euros or about $2,000 at current exchange. “That’s fairly expensive,” Gleber said, “but I don’t want to just dump a rarity of nature.”
— Melissa Drier
On The Green Carpet
Green2Greener.com, a Hong Kong-based nonprofit trading platform that supports environmental charities, is set to make a big splash on Thursday with EcoChic, a touring fashion show that features a remarkable gamut of eco-friendly design.
On display will be one-off couture creations by Diane von Furstenberg, John Rocha, Nathan Jeden, Madam Marie, Thakoon and British house Arrogant Cat, alongside local design stars Barney Cheng, Sonjia Norman, Tania Mohan, Johanna Ho, Dorian Ho and others. “We wanted high-profile designers to use their influence, to show what they can do,” said Christina Dean, director of Green2Greener.com.
EcoChic will feature one-of-a-kind couture dresses, eco-friendly ready-to-wear labels, vintage pieces donated by Hong Kong celebrities and socialites, and recycled chic — eccentric dresses made from recycled materials. In the latter section, Hong Kong designer Barney Cheng has created a gown from a vintage Alexander McQueen tank top and two dresses. “To be creative, one does not have to start from scratch,” said Cheng.
The parade of 15 environmentally friendly rtw labels includes Belle and Dean, Crossley, Eco Boudoir and Sharkra Chakra. Dean said she has been especially happy to give a leg up to newer eco-friendly labels. “These labels haven’t had a chance [for such visibility] before, we want to give a platform so that they can show their sustainable business practices. These companies aren’t really in it for the money; they don’t spend on advertising,” said Dean.
Guests attending the event will receive a luxury eco-friendly tote bag from Fiona Kotur, men’s cuff links made from recycled materials by Barney Cheng and silver Bamboo Silver Slim bangles by John Hardy. And to gain admittance, each guest must bring an article of clothing to recycle.
— Constance Haisma-Kwok
A Cut Above
At the end of the day, most design studios are littered with scraps of fabric left over from cutting garment shapes. Pieces of silk, leather and even fur are simply thrown away. “We would use these extraordinarily expensive fabrics just to wipe off the squeegee,” said designer Mark Liu. “We weren’t trying to make waste. It was just a by-product of the process.” Liu aims to change that process with a new pattern-cutting technique called Zero Waste Design.
The London-based designer lays out his patterns like a jigsaw puzzle, cutting the shapes so that the curve of one angle fits into a curve on another part of the garment. The goal is to use every possible inch of fabric and eliminate waste. Liu estimates he is able to save 15 percent of material per garment that would otherwise be wasted through conventional cutting. As an example, using Zero Waste Design he said he made 16 garments using just 10 meters of fabric.
Liu’s goal is to make clothes that are both eco-friendly and fashionable. His last collection, which can be purchased on his Web site, markliu.co.uk, was shown at London Fashion Week’s green designer showcase, Estethica. “I’m trying to do something both eco-efficient and beautiful, and that is the hard part,” Liu said.
— Chaniga Vorasarun
China’s smog-filled skies and other pollution problems may have gained international attention during the Olympic games, but at least one local company is trying to make a change.
URBN Hotels, a luxury boutique hotel firm that opened its first outpost in Shanghai earlier this year, touts itself as the country’s first “carbon neutral” hotel option. Built from 90 percent recycled materials — including reclaimed wood and old Shanghai bricks — URBN’s environmentally friendly features include low-energy lighting, solar window panels and water recycling, as well as awareness education for the staff on low-carbon living. The hotel tracks its carbon dioxide emissions and purchases credits to offset usage, and also offers hotel guests the chance to erase the carbon footprint from their travels (a round-trip economy flight from New York to Shanghai results in nearly 4,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per person, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, and can be offset by planting three trees).
In a country with well-known pollution problems, such efforts can feel like a drop in the bucket, but URBN is focused on its one-hotel crusade and is in talks to open more outposts around the country.
“On the whole China is not eco-friendly, but we wish to show people that it could and should be,” said Douglas McAlpine, the company’s sustainability director. “We intend to be leaders on the road to a sustainable China, and every journey has to start somewhere.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye