Edun's Spring Collection

You can tell eco-fashion has come a long way when an invite to a green collection is one of the most coveted at Fashion Week. But that was the case at the Edun show which presented its Spring/Summer 09 line at the Mini Cooper Rooftop Lounge. Hordes of hipsters clamored to take the industrial elevator to the lounge where they sipped trendy Elderberry cocktails and checked out the fashions on display via live mannequins. So when did crunchy go couture?


"I always thought that fashion was frivolous," said Ali Hewson, who along with her husband Bono started Edun three years ago. "But when we realized the impact a responsible clothing company could have on fair trade and manufacturing in Africa, which is mainly done by women, we realized it was very worthy project."

Though she claims to be late to the fashion game, Hewson plays the part very well, sexily dressed in a black silk tank top with hemp jeans. Is that a hemp leaf hanging off the zipper? "No!" Hewson laughs with a dimples smile, it's a fig leaf, but every one thinks that."

What has made Edun more than just a pet celebrity project is the quality and cutting edge style of the clothes. The Hewsons were smart enough to bring in the designer Rogan Gregory, who later went on to win a CFDA award and has since moved on. Sharon Blankson, Edun's creative director (and Bono's longtime stylist) has kept the fashion bar high. This season is a romantic mix of Europe and Africa with ruffled tops and dainty sweater dresses juxtaposed with edgier animal prints and tank tops embellished with Kenyan-made beads.

What is this love affair the Hewsons have with Africa? "We also deal Peru and India," says a very youthful looking Hewson. "But because as Europeans we're so close to Africa, we're more aware of the problems there. Africa can be a disaster or Africa can be a success, we have a responsibility to help."

After the show, Hewson shared her affection for Africa by showing a trailer of a documentary on Uganda, where some of the clothing is made. As bags of popcorn were passed, beautiful people like Helena Christensen watched the film raptly and the scene itself was a mini-documentary on how cultural awareness has become cool. --Robyn Moreno, New York, NY


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