PARIS — A crop of emerging brands are paving the way for innerwear's green future. Here are a few of the movement's pioneers who will be showing in the Salon International de la Lingerie's "Spicy Garden."
Eco-Boudoir Founder: Jenny White Age: 31 Based: London Founded: 2007 Sold at: 14 sales points, including Harrods in London and Catriona MacKechnie in New York. Retail prices: From $70 for an eye mask to $600 for an organic silk dressing gown. Background: Eco-Boudoir flowered from a sustainable fashion project White developed as part of her master's of arts degree at Central Saint Martins. Philosophy: "People think eco-friendly lingerie is all about bamboo bras, but it's much more than that. It's about researching the production process; using recycled packaging; avoiding harmful dyes; opting for digital printing, which is the greenest way of printing, and using sustainable fabrics. It's also important to check out the working conditions of the production facilities."
White also aims to shake off the category's hippie associations. "I'm going for the luxury end of the market. Green can be sexy and glamorous." Combating carbon: "Customers ordering from abroad are given the opportunity to donate $10 to Iracambi, a nonprofit organization that works to conserve the Atlantic Rainforest. Drawbacks: "Green innerwear is more expensive to produce." Fall 2008 collection: "I've used energetic prints featuring feathers and jewels," and she's enlarged her selection of panties and bras, using organic silk from Thailand, bamboo and hemp. Extras: Pouches filled with organic lavender and organic cotton pillows. Future projects: "I'm looking to design an organic cotton bed linen range."
Peau-Ethique Founder: Kathy Abruzzo Age: 49 Based: Saint-Chamond, France Founded: 2004 Sold at: Counting mainly small boutiques and eco-oriented stores, the brand is found in 150 doors, including La Maison Simons in Quebec. Retail prices: $30 for a bra to $60 for pajamas. Offer: Organic socks, tights, lingerie and nightwear for children and adults. Production: The brand's organic cotton is sourced from a fair trade cooperative in Turkey. Production takes place in an atelier in Istanbul that was set up for underprivileged women."We provide vouchers for their lunch and transport," said Abruzzo, adding that she is in talks to develop production with government-organized organic silk firms in India and Cambodia, as well as alpaca wool producers in Peru, for next year. Peculiarity: Peau-Ethique produces one collection a year to encourage long-life usage of its products. "Going against short fashion cycles is also part of being green," Abruzzo said. Background: A fabric buyer. Philosophy: "Lingerie is the closest garment to the skin, which makes it a compatible category for eco-friendly fabrics." Combating carbon: "Our stock travels from Istanbul by boat, then is driven over from Italy by truck. If it arrives late, then tough luck." Drawbacks: "Communication. Too few people know about green lingerie brands." Fall 2008 collection: More fantasy elements will be at play for fall, such as embroidery and organic cotton lace. Colors run from chocolate to fuchsia. Future projects: Peau-Ethique is looking to mount an agency in the U.S. this year so product can be shipped there directly by boat.
G=9.8 Founder: Sophie Young Age: 37 Based: Clamart, France Founded: 2006 Sold at: Around 20 stores, including Pivot in Chicago and the 3 Suisses catalogue in France. Offer: Legwear, lingerie and loungewear. Peculiarity: The collection's fabric is developed from white pine fiber. Background: An architect. "It would have cost millions to test out ecoprojects in architecture," said Young. "I've always liked fashion, saw a niche for developing a green brand in the lingerie sector and went for it." Philosophy: "Our collection is timeless, folding in a few new styles and colors each season." Combating carbon: "We try to use trains [for transport] as much as possible. We also use local production and recycled packaging." Fall 2008 collection: New hues include moss green, duck blue and raspberry. Future projects: "We're researching biodegradable fabrics."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast