Vegan Fashion Week

Last Updated: April 14, 2024

After the global success of the first edition in February, Vegan Fashion Week returned to Los Angeles from October 10-15. Vegan Fashion Week has proven to be a historic event and is the leading ethical fashion movement in the world. This season’s theme, “Fashion is Activism,” will explore the challenges surrounding ecological and climate change through the lenses of fashion, creativity, ethics, ecology, science, technology, and legal practices.

“The relationship between fashion, factory farming, and climate change cannot be ignored. Vegan sustainable fashion is the ultimate answer to climate change and waste pollution. I created an inclusive and collaborative movement dedicated to redesigning the industry and the consumers’ daily habits” says Vegan Fashion Week creator and animal rights activist, Emmanuelle Rienda.

This is a creative ode to the end of animal exploitation and a celebration of human evolution.

The Organizer

Emmanuelle Rienda, the event organizer, acknowledged that “vegan” might not conjure images of luxury, given the ubiquity of fur and leather in high fashion. But she rejects that with this season’s theme, “Fashion Is Activism,” which promotes eye-catching fashion that is also cruelty-free and sustainable.

“My mission is to not only better the lives of the animals but also raise awareness and educate people,” Rienda said backstage before an Oct. 15 runway presentation at the California Market Center, “so they can make healthy choices while picking what they wear.”

Vegan Fashion Week celebrated animal-free fashion with events including a two-day trade show featuring runway presentations, showroom visits, a vegan lounge, a vegan clothing swap and a “Future of Fashion” conference with designers, scientists, and policymakers discussing the industry and emerging alternatives to animal-derived products.

The Stylists

The week kicked off with an awards show that lauded the work of vegan icons not just limited to fashion. Honorees in nine categories included photographer Parker Day, celebrity stylist Tara Swennen and singer-songwriter Kate Nash, among others, with the awards handed out by celebrities (and well-known vegans) including actress Mena Suvari and musician Moby.

A multitude of designer brands walked the runway at the penthouse of the California Market Center on Monday. The New York-based clothing brand Enda opened the first of the two runway shows, which was followed by a group show featuring designs by Wasted L.A., Nicoline Hansen, and Mayd in Chyna, among others.

Finland-based designer Minttu Melasalmi debuted a spring and summer 2020 collection — dubbed Never-Leather Land — that used a cork-derived fabric as an alternative to leather in tailored statement pieces.

The Future

On the heels of the successful event – some 2,000 people showed up for Vegan Fashion Week, which showcased looks by designers such as Dr. Martens, Matea Benedetti, Noémie Devine, and Chloe Trujillo – Rienda is looking ahead.

She is hoping to take the event to New York, London, Milan, Paris – everywhere until “it’s the norm”. Before she does that, she shared some thoughts about how to be as stylish as a true vegan.

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