I’m so into these new(?) boots from Brave GentleMan! Not only are they hot and vegan, they are also ethically sourced. Dudes: you should all get these. I’m trying to make my pal Kevin Still get them. I’m helping him upgrade his wardrobe because I’m so nice. He didn’t even have to ask for my help. But boy does he need it! He wanted to try on cargo pants. Like, really.
Fur and fashion: the revolution is coming! »
On Sunday, Feb. 6, the awesome Joshua Katcher (Discerning Brute, Pinnacle) presented “Fur & Fashion: Decoding and Harnessing the Dialect of Fashion,” with a Q&A including the brilliant John Bartlett, and the amazing Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture. There is sooooo much to be said, I can only skim the points.
Katcher ran through the symbols and psychology of fashion, connecting what is worn by the models and their demeanor, and how they invoke our need for approval! As they look at us, all gorgeous and disdainful, we need their acceptance, to be like them, to wear fur, contribute to inhumane and unethical behaviors! And we’re uncool unless we give in! YES!!! They subconsciously make you want to be evil! He points out that skins were once used for survival, which is no longer the case in our culture, and how there is disconnect between animals and their fashionable skins in many folks psychology. Example: Terry Richardson hugging a dog while wearing a rabbit-fur coat. Creepy!
John Bartlett, Joshua Katcher, Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart
To summarize Katcher’s points on tactics, wardrobe is used as a weapon of intimidation, as in the military trends. And the aesthetic laws put top designer togs in a higher social class, and uniforms such as a maid’s on the bottom. The psychological attacks are quite astounding! Our love of a good villain is used against us and I surmise that this may be one reason why the allure of CrueAnna deWintour is so strong! Joshua points out that the editorials and designers’ campaigns portray a society that has access to the unknown. Often-used dark, occult imagery are ever so attractive. He also notes that as fashion editors continue to cover fur, they intentionally do not cover the whole story.
While the furriers have deep pockets and use their financial influence on the struggling young and naïve designers, the ethical folks do not have the finances.
Joshua brought us through the points of how cruelly all the skins are procured. Much of this verified information can be found on PETA, Mercy for Animals, and the HSUS websites. In a nutshell, DO NOT TAKE FROM ANIMALS. And even more, humans seem to always make the exploitation into a greater hell in order to cut costs. The examples are irrefutable and we are accountable. Feathers and silk are a part of this. And sometimes fake fur is too! Look for the “skin” of the fake fur. It should not look like skin! Philip Lim 3.1 and Urban Outfitters have made this mistake. And many folks excuse this as a personal choice as opposed to social justice.
Skins from kombucha-processing, recycled material from plastic bottles, and closed-loop manufacturing systems are all ways to ethically produce fashion. THE SOLUTIONS ARE THERE—but maybe a bit more costly than fur farms in China. And with John Bartlett (left) following in Stella McCartney’s glorious footsteps and then some by nixing wool and alpaca, the designers devoted to this cause are joined by an ICON!
According to Bartlett, “Next time I show, I want to show a fully vegan collection. I want to make sure there’s intention behind it. Over the past year, I have taken leather out of my collections, I will no longer use down and, hopefully by next fall, I will no longer use wool.” He is also actively participating with Pinnacle! The paper will be released for NY Fashion Week, but you can see PDFs here.
During the Q&A, someone asked how you should talk with friends who argue that wearing vintage fur is OK. While some answers were in more of the understanding and empathizing vein, Joshua zinged in with “A vintage Nazi uniform is still a Nazi uniform. You wear fur, you hate animals.” Like a shot to the heart!
When asked how designers can’t know about the horrors, John Bartlett answered, “They don’t understand why fur isn’t fabulous. [Many] consider fur as fabric. There is this incredible disconnect; it’s the same kind of disconnect as eating a hamburger.”
Always a concern is cost, and the ethical clothes are often pricey. Leanne Mai-Ly points out that her clothes are locally sourced as best possible and locally produced here in NYC, keeping her eye on quality and ethical accountability. Clothing should be seen as an investment, not disposable! I agree. Never thought about how the sweatshops are there to produce disposable clothing, which only makes that worker’s toil even more horrifying!
I sense a revolution—style-conscious, ethically inclined superheroes that can finally speak the language of the often oblivious and closed-minded fashion world! Clothes do make the man (and woman), and they can make him heard!
Tell us your favorite ethical designers and sites in the comments!
This review and the photos herein were brought to us by the talented and terrific Jeff Nesmith, an Alabama native thriving in Brooklyn. Designer, draw-er, writer, magazine producer, vegan fry-cook/biscuit-baker, and by day, the editorial production director for Real Simple magazine. He describes his site, welloiledmachinenyc.com, as always a work in progress; we think it’s ridiculously awesome.
Buy a Sparrow Project shirt for Farm Sanctuary! »
It’s called style and substance, you should cultivate both. The Sparrow Project can help, by kitting you out in one of their adorable shirts! They’ve got something like seven different designs, and the proceeds benefit organizations like Clean Ocean Action and Farm Sanctuary. Specifically, sales of the “Vegan” design go to Farm Sanctuary. Cute, right? It’s printed on American Apparel cotton, and costs $25.
They’re selling a vegan-themed tote bag to benefit Farm Sanctuary as well. It costs $18, is made of cotton canvas, and encourages people to ask you why you’re vegan. Perhaps a better approach than a Sharpied t-shirt and a massive fanny pack, but who are we to judge? No one, is the answer, especially when your Vegansaurus’ favorite tote is black canvas with this design on white.
Sparrow Media keep a lively blog focused on social justice issues, if you’re interested in that sort of thing—which, really, freedom is freedom whether it’s for humans or animals. One of their members will be in the Bay Area later in October, should anyone with retail connections like their merchandise. We are certainly looking forward to hearing more from them!
Vaute Couture visiting San Francisco for discount shopping! »
Hello, everyone with good taste, style and money; this announcement is for you!
Vaute Couture will be in town on Friday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 29 to show us the new fall/winter ‘10 collection, the remaining stock from the fall/winter ‘09 collection, and current late-summer/early fall pieces. You’ll be able to pre-order FW10 items at a discount, and buy the current/older items on the spot.
This will happen at appointment-only Pop-Up Shops, which haven’t been scheduled yet (Orange County and L.A., check the site for details about yours!). However, if you want in, and you probably do, you gorgeous creature, you should send an email right away to hold a spot, with information like your name and phone number; whether you’ll be alone or with a friend or two; and notes on your preferred Vaute Couture styles/sizes/colors. Again, check the site for the exact times of these Pop-Up Shops, because as of now they have not been announced. There is also promise of a party! [Ed.: If you know a place that might want to host an event too, let her know!]
Leanne Ma-ly says anyone is welcome to make an appointment to say hello and ogle the clothes without buying anything, so if you’re broke, you can still admire vegan fashions!
Guest review: Sway Noe Valley! »
Sway opened this summer in Noe Valley. It’s a boutique with a selection of affordable clothing chosen by a vegan buyer with great taste. Sway is part of a local chain—there are stores in Alameda, Berkeley, Concord, and Oakland—that reminds me of a less-expensive, less-trendy LF or Urban Outfitters: boho-chic styles like skinny jeans, flowered shirts, dresses, and jumpers, the store caters to the same teen-to-30-something demographic. But what struck me was the variety of vegan fashions for sale.
“We definitely offer a large array of animal-friendly shoes and belts that are fashion-forward,” says buyer Michelle Halprin. “A lot of my vegan friends—especially those coming from out of town—stock up on our non-leather shoes and bags because we are able to get the looks that are often only available in leather.”
Michelle says for as long as she can remember Sway never carried leather or any other animal products. Some of the jackets are wool and the occasional shoes leather due to costumer demand, but she buys vegan fashion whenever possible. Even Sway’s owner is vegetarian.
Not all items at Sway carry Vegan Action’s relatively new "Certified Vegan" label, outside of the purses they carry from Urban Expressions. She hopes more lines will carry the label in the future. For now, Sway’s non-leather brands include Pink Duchess, Miss Me, Soda, Qupid, Dreams, and Breckelles. Purses include sleek, buttery soft ones by Ebisu, Super Trader, Urban Expressions, and Let Them Eat Cake. This fall, find more non-leather purses by Flying Tomato and cool non-leather jackets.
Sway is located at 3979 24th St. at Noe Street. You can also follow the store on Twitter.
This is Vera Churilov’s from Nourish the Spirit's first post at Vegansaurus. Thanks, Vera!
Time to set the record straight: the rumor of Stella McCartney and Morrissey teaming up on a new shoe line turned out to be lies, all lies, even though it was confirmed at the time by the Daily Mail. Which is all another way of saying, never believe anything printed by a UK tabloid. I would have killed for a men’s line from Stella, and I would have gone gay for Morrissey, but now neither is in the cards. Take that, jerks.
The Stylish Vegan’s Coat Guide: For Men! »
FUCK WOOL! No seriously, fuck wool. Winter means keeping warm and dry, and wool means people doing unnatural things to sheep. I’m looking at you, Australia. Lucky for you (and the sheep) I’ve done your homework for you. Every coat or winter jacket here is free of wool and secret leather, and stylish as hell. (BTW DESIGNERS! Enough with the secret leather already! Just because you love your logo doesn’t mean we need it embossed on a leather zipper pull tab! Sheesh!)
As usual I’m keeping it local to San Francisco whenever I can, and if I’ve noted that you can buy something at a local store, it means I went down there and personally tried it on to make sure it was warm enough for winter. All because I love you, man. So let’s get this party started, shall we?
John Robblee from Alley Collection is a new upstart designer in San Francisco, pictured here modeling his own Jeffrey coat. This heavy coat with interesting details is made with canvas and denim, and should satisfy the vegan peacoat craving in all of us. Robblee is an ex-firefighter so his designs tend to favor bigger and taller men. Get it from Rolo at 2351 Market St. in the Castro and feel all special and elite because it’s not sold online. OH AND CHECK THIS OUT! A portion of the proceeds from Alley Collection are donated to Rocket Dog Rescue! Fookin’ aye!
The Montana Jacket comes from Loomstate, a New York company focused on socially and environmentally responsible methods of production. The Montana Jacket is made from nylon and organic cotton, lined with heavy twill. And it comes with elbow patches. Elbow patches! Perfect for extreme sports or lookin’ for love at the library. No one in SF carries their jackets so get it on sale directly from Loomstate.
Trench coats? Hell yes! This one comes from Nice Collective, a San Francisco-based designer brand. They’re local as hell and keeping it interesting for the men season after season. The interior vest is built into the coat, with a belt for easy dark alley flashing. Buy it at Azalea at 411 Hayes St. at Gough Street in Hayes Valley or elsewhere online.
Next up, we have the San Diego Jacket from Wellensteyn. The outside of this military inspired jacket is shiny black polyester with a seriously warm zip-up hoodie interior. Wellensteyn is from Hamburg, Germany, another city like San Francisco that gets soaked in fog and rain, so expect to stay warm and dry all winter. I can’t figure out why it’s named after San Diego, but get it anyway, either direct or at Rolo on Market in SF.
Nau is another one of those sustainable eco fashion clothing companies, and I’ll tell you what, these guys and gals are the real deal. They’re even based in Portland, Ore., where greenwashing gets you pelted to death with fixies. Their Shroud of Purrin Hoody is fully water and wind resistant, with a warm, fleecy interior made from recycled polyester. The whole jacket is even recyclable once it reaches the end of its life. But this is the kind of all-weather jacket you’ll buy once and wear forever. It also comes in grey and black if rocking the acid yellow isn’t your thing. Buy direct from Nau or locally in SF from, where else? Rolo on Market, bitches.
The D Collection Anderson Jacket is exclusive to Urban Outfitters, and features rib knit cuffs to keep the cold air out. Sizes run a bit small so watch out when ordering. One reviewer claims that “Everyone loves this jacket. It’s gotten me laid a couple of times at least.” Buy this jacket, make vegan babies.
And finally, we’ll end with the high end: Jil Sander’s Nottingham Show Jacket. At £1,209 (somewhere around $2,500) this ultra-fance black overcoat is made of cotton and various synthetic fibers, is fully lined with luxurious cupro, and is totally fucking posh. If it doesn’t keep you warm enough, throw a tantrum on the steps of the opera and burn a pile of Benjamins. PS to Jil Sander: I’m going to need one for a more thorough review, so send it along, c/o Vegansaurus. Vegansaurus cannot guarantee return of items submitted for review. kthx
Vaute Couture vegan coat design contest: This entry is not about food »
It’s about FASHION! Runway! Glamour! Magic!
Anyhow, this cool new website/company/group of people who are apparently made of money and good will, Vaute Couture, is sponsoring a vegan coat design contest. Three lucky winners (there is some sort of voting process involving the public or a panel or experts or something, I skimmed so don’t look at me for facts!) will get $1,000 and have their designs made and sold on the site! Even better, the money from the sales of the coats will go to Farm Sanctuary! I don’t know how these Vaute Couture fools are swinging such an amazing deal but damn, I wish I had any kind of talent because I would be designing something right now. Actually, maybe I’ll submit a coat that makes the wearer look like a penguin? Or a rhino? Or a penguin-rhino? Let’s face it, I’ve got this in the bag!