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DawnWatch: Vegan Chic in Forbes and Boston Globe
There is lots of good news on the vegan fashion front. The Thursday, April 5, Boston Globe has an article about a professional image consultant whose specialty is vegan fashion. And the April 9 edition of Forbes magazine features, in its Entrepreneurs section, an article on a high-end vegan shoe-designer.
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The Boston Globe piece, by Debbi K. Kickham, is headed, "Don't be cruel: Vegan fashion is no longer an oxymoron. You can dress compassionately -- and look stylish."
Kickham opens with:
"When Ginger Burr visited my office, she was a smashing fashion plate -- perfect makeup, flawless haircut and color, sensational brown outfit, Kate Spade nylon bag and Franco Sarto boots, complete with a faux shearling coat.
"So what's unusual about that? Nothing, except that she's a vegan, and the phrase 'stylish vegan' is usually an oxymoron, thanks to the limited clothing choices for followers of compassionate dressing.
"Burr dresses in a chic way that complements her cruelty-free philosophy -- that is, she won't eat meat, poultry , fish, eggs , or milk, and won't wear wool, leather, silk, suede, shearling, cashmere, or fur. With those kinds of restrictions, many vegans can too easily look like a crunchy-granola Earth Mother. But Burr, a professional image consultant whose specialty is vegan fashion, looks more hip than hippie. And she wants to help other vegan women achieve the same.
"Burr has been obsessed with eating healthfully since she was a teenager. Friends used to tease her about her food choices -- they scarfed down pizza and Doritos while she snacked on radishes and carrots. She became a full-fledged vegan in 2005, and her business, Total Image Consultants in Lynn, has since embarked on a quest to help other vegan women find stylish fashions. Burr charges $160 an hour for her wardrobe consultations, which last an average of two hours."
We read, "Burr recommends VeganUnlimited.com and Weekenders.com, and she swears by The Studio in Brookline." She also recommends ribkoff.com and she is a fan of ColorScience's products, which are animal- and eco-friendly, as well as reusable, refillable, and recyclable. We are told, "They are used by scores of celebrities including Jessica Simpson, Eva Longoria , and Gwyneth Paltrow."
You can read the whole piece on line at http://tinyurl.com/yqatb7. My thanks to Hilary Retting for making sure we saw it.
The Forbes magazine article, by Kiri Blakeley, is headed, "No animals are harmed in the making of Mink shoes. Just bank accounts."
"For years Rebecca Brough, a Hollywood stylist, refused to use leather or fur when putting celebrities in nice clothes for public appearances and magazine shoots. Most of her clients, including actresses Alicia Silverstone and Pamela Anderson, were happy for Brough, a vegan who doesn't eat or use products made with animal meat or by-products, to dress them in fake leather and fur apparel. But only now is Brough, who turned her passion for animal care into a product--Mink, a line of vegan shoes--starting to persuade suppliers, retailers and consumers to accept a $400 (retail price) alternative to fancy leather heels."
The article describes Brough's trip to Italy where she brought all sorts of fabrics to shoemakers and asked for animal-free glue. We read, "A lot of times the shoemakers were almost yelling at me."
And we read, "Brough spent the next year carting her designs to 287 stores in Los Angeles, New York and London without making a sale." But then, "Brough turned to her celebrity contacts, including Paris Hilton and actress Natalie Portman. She slipped Mink designs on 37 celebrities in 2005. The exposure helped Mink get plugs in 23 magazines. Now doors opened."
The full article is on line at http://members.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0409/074.html
Both of the articles cited above present opportunities for letters to the editor on the joys of fun animal-friendly fashion, or the dark side of animal fabrics. The Boston Globe takes letters at firstname.lastname@example.org. Forbes takes letters at email@example.com.
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Remember that shorter letters are more likely to be published.