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August 1 2014

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Eco-Fashion Challenge: Accepted

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Amber VallettaOn the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, it’s only appropriate that the Council of Fashion Designers of America should turn its attention to the environment. At a New York luncheon yesterday, the CFDA and Lexus announced the winners of the Eco-Fashion Challenge—an annual event that rewards designers for their environmentally responsible fashion. “It’s only the tip of the iceberg,” said Amber Valletta, who, wearing a Daniel Silverstein dress cut from zero waste, predicted that there will be a major shift in eco-friendly design in another five years. “It’s necessary, responsible, and economical. Luxury is about being thoughtful and sustainable from the beginning.”

Guests including Coco Rocha, Steven Sebring, Maria Cornejo, and Steven Kolb filed into ABC Kitchen for the affair. Over shared plates of locally sourced crab toast and braised mushroom, they applauded top winner Natalie “Alabama” Chanin for her organic, handcrafted wares. “Hand embroidery is very engrained in rural communities in America,” Chanin said. She pointed to the hand-sewn skirt from her namesake label that she was wearing, explaining how she sources the organic cotton from Texas, then has it processed and dyed in North Carolina before it’s sewn by Alabama artisans.

The selection committee, which included Valletta, fashion consultant Julie Gilhart, and CFDA’s Lisa Smilor, among others, also gave awards to Mark Davis for his jewelry, and SVILU’s Britt Cosgrove and Marina Polo for their environmentally sound, understated womenswear.

Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

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