Fourth season of Vegan Fashion Week a powerful call for compassion
The historic 2022 event has not only put ethical fashion on the map once again but also world peace, attracting formal recognition from the City of Los Angeles for its impact.
Last week, fashion industry professionals, celebrities and influencers converged in Los Angeles to experience Vegan Fashion Week’s fourth in-person season since the iconic platform was conceived by founder Emmanuelle Rienda in 2018.
A call for compassion
This year’s event was held in partnership with Ukrainian Fashion Week, uniting participants and onlookers in a powerful call for compassion as a pillar of world peace.
“Today is a hard day for Ukrainians,” said Aleksandra Kakurina of Ukrainian Fashion Week, who woke up to another day of bombing as the event opened. “But we are resisting, our designers now share part of their time between making clothes for the army and their own collection. With Vegan Fashion Week, it is an opportunity for them to resist, to continue to show their work.”
Emmanuelle Rienda told Nourish she was both humbled and proud to welcome Ukrainian Fashion Week for the historic collaboration. “Fashion is a creative medium of expression, with the potential to reflect the environmental, socio-economic and political situation of our times,” she explained. “This year’s collaboration encapsulates a vision of a world where ethics and trends intersect, in celebration of human evolution.”
As a prelude to the show, Golden Globe winning actress Mychal-Bella Rayne read a poem titled Imagine, a dedication to peace, imagination and compassion, written for the occasion by Caroline Powell. This was followed by a live performance by vegan singer, vōx.
The Korean vegan brand Vegan Tiger was the first to take the stage, before Ukrainian Fashion Week showcased a lineup of vegan and sustainable pieces by Ukrainian designers, including CHERESHNIVSKA, Dzhus, House Martin, Gorohova, Ochis, Oversized, Roussin, Sheezen, Palingenisy, Devohome, and Reviclo. “While not all of these are explicitly vegan labels, all of the designers use vegan and cruelty-free and sustainably-produced fabrics,” Rienda explains. This includes the parachute material featured in the CHERESHNIVSKA collection, Reviclo’s dedication to upcycled fashion, and the world-first coffee-waste frames by eyewear label ochis.
Makeup looks for the collective runway were created using all-vegan products by fashion show partners KVD Beauty, MOB Beauty, and Artis vegan makeup brushes.
Cruelty-free sustainable fashion by Ukrainian designers displayed at the Vegan Fashion Week runway show, October 2022. From left to right: CHERESHNIVSKA parachute dress / Alexx Mayes • CHERESHNIVSKA dress and lip art by vegan makeup artist Vlada Haggerty • Outfit by Shezeen and Reviclo, with eyewear by ochis • Shezeen dress / The Hendrys
In addition to the fashion shows, this year’s Vegan Fashion Week season presented a series of panel discussions surrounding ethics and sustainability in fashion, and produced Vegan World: a sustainable fashion and beauty showroom featuring vegan brands including Nous Étudions, Sylven New York, Shoes 53045, Bohema, Fan All Flames, Sentient, Natalia Fedner, Wildling Shoes, Willa Phoenix, SoloVegan, Artis vegan makeup brushes, KVD Beauty, and MOB Beauty.
Clockwise from top: R99 sustainable vegan leather upcycled shoes, Veganologie PETA-approved vegan bag made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles, and cactus leather jacket by Sentient.
At the after-show rooftop party, guests mingled while sampling vegan treats from the likes of Miyoko’s – part of Rienda’s vision for an “entirely cruelty-free experience – from the fashion we wear to the products we put on our skin, and the food we eat.”
Vegan celebrities in attendance included Australian actress Danielle Macdonald, star of acclaimed Stan series The Tourist; actress and model Stephanie Corneliussen of Mr Robot fame; plant-based chef and conscious living advocate Radhi Devlukia-Shetty; and model Christina Galioto, among many other supportive stars.
Celebrity guests in attendance at VFW 2022 / Getty Images. From left to right: Corey Feldman and Courtney Feldman • Christina Galioto • Jedward + Tara Reid • Stephanie Corneliussen
A beacon of hope
Vegan Fashion Week has established itself as a beacon of hope for an ethical and sustainable lifestyle, creating industry-wide change in its quest to evolve fashion away from animal-derived materials. Rienda explains how, in just four years – and despite a global pandemic since the first event in 2019 – the event has been able to have a global impact. “As well as supporting emerging vegan designers and textile innovators, our work has attracted the interest of governments and established industry players, as well as activated several impactful collaborations between plant-based textiles, brands and industry leaders,” she says.
These efforts have undoubtedly solidified the position of Los Angeles as the leading ethical fashion destination in the world. In honour of its work Vegan Fashion Week 2022 was honoured with a Certificate of Recognition signed by the City’s mayor, celebrating the movement for spreading the message of compassion as a pillar of world peace and highlighting the connections between humans, biodiversity, and our impact on the planet.
This week has also seen the City of LA show global leadership by voting to endorse the Plant Based Treaty – an initiative to secure a just transition away from animal agriculture as an essential means of tackling the climate crisis. Through its three core principles – Relinquish, Redirect and Restore – the treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems by freezing expansion of animal agriculture, promoting a shift to healthy, sustainable, plant–based diets, and the rewilding of natural habitats.
Lead image: The Hendrys