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CFDA, Lexus Create Eco Fashion Challenge

Partnership celebrates sustainable designs.

NEW YORK — Environmentally sustainable designs are almost de rigueur in New York fashion, so much so that there is now a contest devoted to them.

This story first appeared in the November 2, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Lexus auto brand have created the Eco Fashion Challenge, which aims to promote sustainable practices in fashion. To qualify, designers had to prove their commitment to eco-friendly designs and have at least 25 percent of their collections made in an environmentally conscious way.

The 10 finalists for the launch the contest are: Behnaz Sarafpour, Maria Cornejo, Monique Péan, Marcia Patmos, Organic by John Patrick, Costello Tagliapietra, Alabama Chanin, Libertine by Johnson Hartig, Subversive Jewelry by Justin Giunta, and Slow and Steady Wins the Race by Mary Ping.

Each will present his or her fall 2011 collection to a panel of judges, which includes CFDA executive director Steven Kolb and associate executive director Lisa Smilor, Lexus events marketing manager Andrea Lim and Scott Mackinlay Hahn, co-founder of the eco-friendly Loomstate brand. The designers’ work will be featured on Lexushybridliving.com. The panel will crown three designers, based on their designs, business strategies and overall commitment to the environment.

Lexus will sponsor the trio’s fall 2011 shows or presentations. The Web site also has a feature that allows visitors to select their personal favorite, and the designer with the most votes will receive the “People’s Choice” award.

Lexus and the CFDA will unveil the three winners at an event next Tuesday, where the designs will be shown, including gallery-style displays of each finalist’s work as well as the CT Umbra artistic interpretation — made from aluminum bars painted different colors — of the new Lexus CT 200h.