4 posts tagged "Scott Hahn"
What’s the next big thing in fashion? Lately, signs are pointing to Africa. For starters, Franca Sozzani dedicated the entire May issue of L’Uomo Vogue to celebrating the continent’s intrinsic allure and creativity. This year’s International Herald Tribune Luxury conference will examine the growing African middle class as an emerging consumer as well as the region’s potential for manufacturing. And last night, Essence editor in chief Constance White led a panel discussion entitled Design Africa, where she and political journalist Chika Oduah held forth with Rogan and Loomstate co-founder Scott Hahn, Suno head of production Nadiyah Bradshaw, and Bantu swimwear designer Yodit Eklund about the future of design on the continent.
The consensus: There’s plenty to be done, but the potential is great. “China did not become China overnight,” Bradshaw said, going on to explain how at Suno, she helps Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty find ethical workshops and factories and effectively create needed job opportunities in places like Kenya. Panelists mused on the potential of African manufacturing and hoped that one day, a “Made in Nigeria” tag would be as highly regarded as a “Made in Italy” or a “Made in France” one.
In the meantime, people like panelist Enyinne Owunwanne (the founder of online African fashion retailer Heritage 1960) are working to promote Africa’s rising design stars. Owunwanne works with promising up-and-coming designers including Jewel By Lisa and The Summit, as well as artisans in South Africa, Nigeria, and Rwanda, which she features on her site. “Until recently, Africa has largely been underserved within the global fashion and design scene, but the continent has always been chock-full of amazingly talented designers and artists,” Owunwanne told Style.com. “It was only a matter of time before the world stage started to give due recognition to the talent stemming from Africa. Diasporan trailblazers such as Duro Olowu and Ozwald Boateng set the stage for an appreciation of African designers. The fashion industry has barely tipped the iceberg with African designers and inspiration coming from the continent, though. There is so much more to discover—this is truly just the beginning!”
“We want to reinvent the way women think about their clothes,” designer Rogan Gregory, who co-founded the ready-to-wear label Loomstate with his partner Scott Hahn, tells Style.com of their new multipurpose 321 collection. “[Loomstate] 321 gives women the freedom and creativity to transform their look, based on their mood and functional need, with one piece.”
The multifunctionality of the new collection (some pieces can be reversed and rotated to make as many as eight different color combinations) is an obvious extension of the brand’s sustainable design-meets-style motto. And, although clothes with so many different wear options usually offer the function without fashion, Gregory and Hahn have managed to maintain the chic quotient. The 321 offerings ($165 to $295) include seven styles (dresses, a cardigan, and a tank top), all made of tencel—a quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant knit fabric with yarns originating from natural tree pulp. For spring, the pair included neutrals, like khaki and black, along with pops of bright pink or yellow, inspired by the likes of color theorist Josef Albers and Mark Rothko.
“I see a woman on the North Shore of Hawaii wearing the Shira tank as a cover-up on the beach—but I easily picture a woman in New York City wearing the Aya tank under a blazer on her way to work,” explains Gregory. “The colors and reversibility of 321 create a lot of different options…imagination is the only limitation.” Here, in a Style.com exclusive video (below), Loomstate 321 shows off a few of those options (but feel free to let your imagination run wild). The collection is available now on Loomstate.org.
Here’s an inconvenient truth: Dressing eco-friendly is good for the planet, good for the future, and good for your karma, but many environmentally conscious and sustainable clothes are still lagging in the style department. Just ask John Patrick of Organic, one of fashion’s do-right pioneers. “I’m no Balenciaga, but this crunchy, green-bean crowd thinks that because they are using hideous vegan material, they are saving the world, but really it’s only going to end up at Goodwill,” Patrick (left, with models at his Spring ’11 presentation) tells Style.com. “The mindfulness of my work only gets stronger day by day, week by week. I’m not in a bubble and I see the reality of the landscape.” Luckily, he’s not the only one. Retailers, labels, and stores are heeding the call for good-looking, good-doing product, from major chains like H&M with its Conscious Collection to upscale green queen Stella McCartney. And more designers every day are pledging to do their part.
Doing that part can be burdensome, many freely admit. “Now [that] hundreds of designers are working in sustainability, it can’t just be any old cotton—it better be damn good organic cotton,” Patrick adds. And Steven Alan, who incorporates recycled organic and ethical materials, primarily from Japan, into his designs, is candid about the difficulty of balancing eco ideals with market considerations. “It’s just frustrating,” Alan says. “We will work to find one fantastic fabric, but it’s exorbitant, especially with cotton prices where they are now.”
But working a little harder—and, yes, paying a little more—is worth the effort. “It’s where things have to be and there’s no going back, I think,” Alan goes on. “The earth’s resources are just getting fewer and fewer. The way of thinking is changing and I don’t think it will change back—it’s not like skirt lengths or something.” Rogan Gregory and Scott Hahn, the founders of Loomstate, agree. “Buying things of higher quality is always a turn-on,” Hahn opines, “and life is better when you are turned on.” To turn you on—ecologically, of course!—we’ve rounded up some of our favorite look-good, feel-good, environmentally friendly clothes, jewels, and accessories. Buying sustainable is a 365-day-a-year mission. But in honor of Earth Day, keep reading for a few of our favorite little reminders. Continue Reading “Shopping Your Part This Earth Day” »
Earth Day turns 40 this month, and the eco-friendly guys at Loomstate are throwing the holiday a birthday party. Nature being in relatively short supply at the Good Units space at the Hudson Hotel, Loomstate founders Scott Hahn and Rogan Gregory (pictured) decided to bring the great outdoors inside, with a little help from jewelry designer Pamela Love and a 40-large drum circle rounded up by composer Hisham Bharoocha. “We were thinking about it as sort of like a modern rain dance,” Gregory explains of the drum circle. “A way to bring people together, and get them on the same beat. I think you can create something incredibly positive out of that energy.” A giant pyramid installation installation by Spoke Visuals and a psychedelic light show top off the indoor-hippie vibe, and Bharoocha encourages attendees to bring along their own instruments. (Kazoo, anyone?) Here, Gregory, Hahn, Love, and Bharoocha talk to Style.com about nurturing nature, fashion scene-style.
What inspired you to throw an Earth Day event?
Scott Hahn: Well, it’s the 40th anniversary. I’m not sure why that means anything, actually, other than 40 is a nice round number, but there’s good energy around the event this year, and Loomstate is a brand inspired by nature, so…
Rogan Gregory: I feel like most fashion labels, when they do a big event, it’s for fashion week. But our emphasis is fashion and sustainability, and it felt more appropriate to do something now. Something fun.
SH: We’re really trying to get away from the messages everyone’s already heard, away from advocacy per se, and find new ways to speak to people. There’s a lot than can come from, you know, sharing and energy and inspiration. It’s hard to ask people to change; it’s better to inspire them to change.
RG: And inspiration is something fashion is really good at.
What should people expect at the event?
RG: There are a lot of moving pieces, so we’ll see how everything comes together, but basically we’ve got this space with 20-foot ceilings, we’re installing a giant pyramid in the center, and the drum circle will be around the pyramid. And there’s a light show. Obviously, there will be drinks and normal party stuff, too, but we’re really trying to make this an immersive experience for people. If we could have gone and done something outside, like, far away from the city, that would have been great, but it wasn’t practical. So the thinking has been, let’s try to transport people in another way.