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Sustainable Haute Couture Designers We’re Watching

4 Designers We’re Obsessing Over!

Haute Couture Week always gives us visions of grandiose gowns dazzling with thousands of gemstones, sequins, and laborious hand-embroidery.  But what isn’t always top of mind is sustainability.  In a week where the focus is on celebrating the artistry of the world’s elite designers, we were happy to see quite a few designers with an eco-friendly approach to couture.

Ronald van der Kemp

Looks from Ronald van der kemp. Including 71 year old model Pat Cleveland
The iconic 71 year old model Pat Cleveland (far left) opened and closed the video presentation

Self-titled as “the world’s first sustainable couture label,” Ronald van der Kemp creates using existing waste or vintage materials.  RVDK has been on a mission since 2014 to prove that ethical fashion can be exciting and glamourous.  Alongside upcycled materials, the Spring 2022 collection incorporated pieces of flowers that would have been discarded, dipped into resin to preserve their beauty.  Thrifted pewter was also melted to form stunning jewelry pieces.  And to avoid the use of exotic skins, RVDK created a unique denim look that incredibly resembled the traditional scaley alligator texture.

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Julie de Libran

Working with stunning archive and limited end-of-roll fabrics in hopes of saving them from being lost, Julie de Libran is another designer who caught our eye.  She only creates dresses in limited quantities to ensure little to no overproduction.  With timelessness in sharp focus for Julie de Libran, this year’s collection featured many classic black and white pieces mixed with a few meticulously beaded gowns and vintage-like satin dresses.  These designs, without a doubt, would be a delightful permanent addition to the sustainable shopper’s closet for those nights when you need something special.

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YUIMA NAKAZATO

For the past few years, Yuima Nakazato has been displaying brilliantly innovative designs at Haute Couture Week and this year was no different!  Looking forward to a future where every garment is unique, YUIMA NAKAZATO aims to bring the happiness and excitement of owning a customized design to more people.  The brand uses cutting-edge technology, like the Biosmocking process, that helps with lowering material waste during production. This year’s fabulous collection was inspired by the mythical creature, the Chimera, displaying many pieces with bright colors and beautiful draping.

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Aelis

One of the newer sustainable couture brands, Aelis, is making a notable impact in circularity.  The Aelis manifesto refers to the brand as “art-to-wear” and states they’re committed to being cruelty-free, plastic-free, traceable, and regenerative.  For one of the standout pieces in this year’s show, fallen feathers were consciously collected over two years to avoid any harm to animals.

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We’re already looking forward to what these designers come up with next year!

–Natalie LaBarbera


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