Runway News

Designer Dossier: Edun

Sharon Wauchob, Edun Creative DirectorEdun isn't the name of a particular designer, it's not an acronym. It's actually the word "nude" spelled backward, and as it's pronounced by its founders (we'll get to them in a sec), it sounds more like "Eden" as in the city of, rather than E-Done. Now that we have pronunciation concerns taken care of, let's turn our attention to this relatively new design house and the people behind it. You may be surprised to know that it happens to be the label of a famous rock star by the name of Bono. Well, actually, it's more like his wife Ali Hewsen's baby. In her own right, she has a decades-long history in activism and business, working alongside Bono to create change in underdeveloped areas of Africa. In 2006 the couple gave homage to their nearly 20-year love affair with Africa, conceiving of a clothing line they hoped would show the world and the fashion industry at large that not only can beautiful clothes be made sustainably, but they can serve more than a superficial purpose. 

The concept is to design clothes using organic material sourced from Africa in an effort to bring awareness and economic aid to the continent; work only with other firms who have similar core values; create factories that use ethical work practices and therefore create jobs; deal only with local farmers and growers as much as possible. And while they may have started out with one T-shirt that encompassed their efforts, they intend to work tirelessly to someday be able to have the entire line created in the place that inspires it.

Obviously, this is an ambitious goal. But Bono and Ali are ambitious people. As with the rest of their creative projects, they've been able to create works that are highly respected. Perhaps it's because in 2010, Ali enlisted the Irish designer, formerly of Louis Vuitton, Sharon Wauchob (above) to be Edun's creative director. Sharon has her own eponymous line that she shows in Paris that gives credit to her individual design aesthetic. As for Edun, she does amazing work creating high fashion with a purpose. Unlike so many other eco-conscious clothing lines that can come off drab or staid, Wauchob isn't afraid to push creative boundaries. She's not afraid to work in sex appeal, play with androgyny or add a punk rock edge to her catwalk. Her Spring 2013 collection had strong moments of laid-back cool mixed with completely feminine touches. We hear she had a quote from Jack Kerouac pinned to her mood board for the collection that read, "Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry." 

Feel free to look through a few of our favorite looks from recent seasons to get a feel for a collection that you can be proud to shop from, grab inspiration from and watch grow until it reaches its sustainability goals. We'll definitely be keeping our eye out! 

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