Insta-Critic: Edun Goes 60s with Mod, Graphic Shifts

EDUN made another case for the fashion throwback at Skylight galleries this evening with a collection of bold graphics in black-and-white, sharp side parts and clean makeup. Added to the mix were big leather pockets that would make even the most eccentric of art teachers proud (and provide ample paintbrush storage space) and #uglypants that every pretty girl will surely want come Fall.

Fringed at @edun #cfdanyfw #smartwaterInspired

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Modern Twiggy shifts updated with hardcore fringe

Suede pockets, big buttons, thick necks and wide pants, Edun makes a case for your ankles eyes nary askance

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This is art teacher chic at its very finest

Graphic impact at #Edun. #nyfw

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60’s graphics

Backstage at EDUN Fall 2015 with Tami and Amanda #EDUNFW15 #Backstage #EDUN #NYFW

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Strong side parts and clean lines at Edun, with makeup by Charlotte Tilbury

Ryan McGinley Covers Models in Wild Butterflies For New Edun Campaign

There are so many good fashion films popping up as of late that we can hardly contain ourselves. For Edun’s spring 2012 campaign, acclaimed artist Ryan McGinley filmed a group of models, including Bradley Soileau and Charlotte Free, casually interacting with a bunch of friendly butterflies. But because it’s under the direction of the imaginative and somewhat controversial McGinley, butterflies aren’t just hanging around said pretty people—they’re in their mouths, in their pants, and generally up in their business. And it works.

Founded in 2005 by U2 singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson and Bono in 2005, Edun is commited to "sustainable fashion through trade and community building initiatives in countries including Uganda, Kenya and Nairobi," as noted by NOWNESS, which is why McGinley hired six species of African butterflies for the gig. Watch the (semi-NSFW) film here.

Edun Fall Campaign: Ryan McGinley Trades Wild Butterflies for Owls

As a follow-up to Ryan McGinley’s spring 2012 campaign for Edun, which featured pretty people with wild butterflies all up in their business, U2’s Bono and his wife Ali Hewson asked the illustrious photographer to snap their label’s fall ads. You can’t really say no to Bono, so McGinley rounded up a gang of brave models, found some endangered birds, and went to town. This is "Birds of Prey."

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In the new campaign, three models gracefully manage to maintain their composure as five birds do their bird thing all over them. From an endangered Barn owl chilling on a bald women’s head to a wild falcon landing his sharp claws onto a dude in leather (don’t worry, he was wearing a big bulky glove for the shot), McGinley nails yet another eye-catching shoot for the ethically and socially responsible company. As for the clothes, Edun’s Africa-inspired fall offerings feature heavy knits, tartan shirts and jungle print dresses. Peep more images here.

The Four Most Unfortunate Menswear Looks for Fall 2011

As you might have noticed from the caliber of stunts during Fashion Week, we’re a pretty jaded bunch. It takes a lot to get a rise out of us — or the press. Partly, that’s because a surprising number off women are willing to at least try to pull of runways’ most outlandish looks, or at least the bargain-basement knockoff versions thereof. And where women are game, men are just as much, if not more so, willing to dedicate themselves to fashion. Just think Gandolf beards, murses, and, possibly, the entire Thom Browne high-water phenomenon. After the jump, check out the four strangest looks for Fall 2011 menswear.

(Pictured Above) Designing clothes for who-the-hell-knows, Walter Van Beirendonck sent his male models down the catwalk in a rainbow of colors and fabrics, hair-don’ts resembling the alien from Toy Story, and rings of painted-on exposed teeth encircling their eyes. We’re puzzled, to say the least.

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This look by Edun is a subtle attempt to bring back overalls, but I’m not falling for it. Unless you’re baling hay or raising a barn, overalls are not appropriate.

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If we’ve learned anything from the quick-to-die, all-over print trend, it’s that men should not dabble with multiple patterns. Stick with one plaid per outfit, lest you end up like Comme des Garcons’ bewigged, barfed-up brocade disaster.

image From top to bottom, Dsquared’s model went from cowboy to businessman to S&M butcher–good for Halloween, bad for real life.

Creative Director Sharon Wauchob on Her First Year at Edun

In January 2010, British fashion designer Sharon Wauchob took the helm of fashion-label Edun as creative director. Launched in 2005 by Ali Hewson and Bono, and now co-owned by LVMH, Edun seeks to raise “awareness of the possibilities in Africa and encourage the industry to do business there.” A reported 80% of their products are manufactured in Africa. In 2008, the company, together with the Wildlife Conservation Society, created Conservation Cotton, a partnership with Invisible Children in Northern Uganda. The initiative seeks to support 3,500 cotton farmers in Northern Uganda. Currently, Edun is going through something of a brand re-launch, and Wauchob, a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martin’s, seems like a shrewd pick to navigate the way. Wauchob is no stranger to the fashion world. She worked as a ready-to-wear and accessories designer for Louis Vuitton from 1997–2001, and launched her eponymous label in Paris in 1999, which is now sold at over 120 stores in 40 countries. This past week in Milan, Wauchob presented her second menswear collection for Edun (New York fashion week will see the anticipated re-launch of womenswear). Wauchob took a few moments to talk about her experiences at Edun, the creative influences for the autumn/winter 2011/12 collection, called “Storytellers and Liars,” and working with Ireland’s most famous couple.

This month marks your first full year at the label, how has the adjustment been? It’s been so busy—exciting. Visiting and working with Africa alone has been hugely important both professionally and personally. There has been a lot to do, Edun is developing and with on board there has been many new opportunities in the past year.

What inspires you most when designing Edun? The personality of the brand itself, it has a real story, a soul. That’s not always apparent in our industry especially with new labels. It’s a great opportunity to be part of forming a new identity.

The ideology behind Edun is very unique. What makes this label so special in your opinion? It is formed from the founders’ belief in making a change, which is quite unique in itself. Wanting to use fashion for the possibility of change is a great idea. I also love that Edun is about real people: Whether it is the factory workers, the designers or the actual customer, we are always analyzing those around us.

How is working/collaborating with Ali Hewson and Bono? In what capacity are they involved? They are both very involved, and that’s inspiring. Ali has travelled often with me to factories, and she brings a fresh perspective, which I welcome and really appreciate. Being a designer around them both is great, as they understand creativity and allow me to focus on the creative direction of the label.

How has your creative process with Edun differed from your previous designing projects? Not many design projects take you to Africa…When the normal fashion stress kicks in it’s always good to remember that.

Tell us a little more about the A/W 11/12 collection and how “Storytellers and Liars” came to be? It’s a very real collection; the theme however can be real or a fantasy, that’s what I like when designing, the juxtaposition of two ideas. ‘Storytellers and Liars’ examines that. What is one person’s reality can be another person’s lie.

What elements of your life seem to influence your work the most? I tend to be a strange mixture of creativity along side a very down to earth practicality. I suppose my past in Ireland influences me in terms of my practical nature but my real inspiration comes from looking forward.

Ali Hewson and Dazed & Confused magazine co-hosted a cocktail party and concert at the “Storytellers and Liars” presentation in Milan, which featured a live performance from up-and-coming British band the Heartbreaks, all dressed in looks from the new Edun Collection.

image Ali Hewson and Sharon Wauchob

Photographs by Stefano Trovati

Chunky Sweaters For the Girl Living in a Perpetual Igloo

I don’t know about you, but I’m always cold. When others are feeling a bit chilly, I’m likely on the verge of frostbite. When I’m in an AC-blasting office or shop, I die a little inside. A cool breeze is the death of me, and I’ve learned to accept it. But this isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy the fall and winter seasons—in fact, layering is one of my favorite activities and discovering new outerwear is unusually satisfying. And it goes without saying that I love me a good chunky knit. So if you’re like me and keeping warm is a year-round struggle, here are a few sweaters that are as stylish as they are supportive.

Clockwise from left: Topshop Cable Knit Short Rib Jumper, $80; Rachel Comey Boatneck Sweater, $209; Vince High Low Sweater, $235; Edun Cropped Wool-Blend Cable Knit Sweater, $180; All Saints Rumos Drape Jumper, $120; Modekungen So You Sweater, $88.

Uniqlo’s Social Business & Other Eco-Conscious Initiatives

Fast fashion retailer and global mega-brand Uniqlo’s parent company is launching what might be the industry’s first “social business” in Bangladesh. Called Fast Retailing Co., “the [new] company will be formed in September 2010 in Dhaka, and to demonstrate its good intentions it’ll be named ‘UNIQLO Social Business Bangladesh, Ltd’,” says the company. Not only will “this new subsidiary company will be aimed at getting cheap clothing production facilities up and running in Bangladesh, thus helping the economy… the ‘social’ angle is also very high on Fast Retailing’s list of priorities, and the first stated objective of the subsidiary is actually to ‘help solve social problems, including those related to poverty, sanitation and education issues’.”

Uniqlo recently expanded what was a bi-annual recycling program, where unused clothes were donated to populations in need, to an all-year endeavor. So far, “the clothes were sent to refugee and IDP camps in Asia and Africa, and disaster victims worldwide.” Uniqlo isn’t the only major brand doing its part. The Business of Fashion notes that PPR, the parent company to The Gucci Group, recently “announced its support of HOME, an environmental call-to-action by filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand.” LVMH has purchased a 49% stake in NYC-based, eco-conscious brand Edun, and back across the Atlantic, factories like one established by Chid Liberty in Liberia’s formerly war torn capital of Monrovia are sprouting up and garnering certifications as fair-trade facilities. The outlets are certainly there should fashion brands choose to pursue environmentally and socially sound development practices. Ideally as more time passes, an influx of eco and econ-friendly brands will follow suit. Reason enough to toast with a Belve cocktail.

EDUN Heads West

imagePop-up shops are synonymous with Fashion Week. So, it’s little surprise EDUN, the NYC-based, eco-friendly brand that’s the brainchild of U2’s Bono and wife Ali Hewson, is taking on LA Fashion Week with a pop-up shop. While the line rung in NY Fashion Week with a relatively mellow party at the Mini roof, its focus will be pure retail when it heads to the West Coast this October.

Refinery29 sez: “Starting October 6th at Azalea in San Francisco and October 4th at Ten Over Six in Los Angeles, EDUN opens its doors to two pop-up stores featuring their dreamy and darkly romantic autumn/winter collection, Nocture.” With LA Fashion week launching October 12, that means plenty of time to purvey the shop’s racks before hitting the SS09 shows. And, as if the organic looks aren’t enough to pique your interest, 15% of total sales will benefit non-profits ONEXONE and H2O Africa Foundation.

Fashion Week: Mellowed Out with Edun & Vito

There was plenty of free popcorn and eco-friendly frocks on hand at last night’s Edun SS09 collection presentation and party. The event, hosted by designer Ali Hewson and held at the Mini rooftop, and it was overrun with downtown movers and shakers, fashion folk and a handful of NYC musicians: Interpol’s Paul Banks, who came with Dane supe Helena Christensen; Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner; and the Rapture — the latter were actually working, manning the decks (unfortunately, Hewson’s hubbie Bono was nowhere to be found). But, for a chic crowd with an open bar at their disposal, I couldn’t help but notice that the party seemed a bit … tranquil.

“It’s really mellow,” Vito Roccoforte of the Rapture concurred, taking a break from the DJ booth. What does one do in such a situation, I asked the seasoned DJ. What will it take to get this crowd riled up? “I usually just put on something everyone knows, like LCD Soundsystem,” Vito said, surveying the room. “But I don’t think there’s anything you could put on right now that would do the trick.” Fair enough. What do you think the song of the fall will be, I asked. “Every time I put on Kid Cudi’s ‘DaynNight,’ the Crookers remix, people go crazy.” Well, maybe not every time.