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  1. Suzy Menkes
  2. Suzy Menkes

Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Doing Good, Looking Good?

Ethical fashion labels Edun and Maiyet benefit their makers and customers

20 Февраля 2016

Edun, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Edun: Homage to Ethiopia

I wasn’t sure what impressed me most at the Edun show. Was it the graphic, hand-painted floor showing the Ethiopian alphabet - the symbols and figures turned into art by Wosene Worke Kosrof? Or was it Creative Director Danielle Sherman accepting the applause, led by Edun founders Ali Hewson and Bono, as the designer cuddled her newborn baby on the runway?

I am inspired by people who make something beautiful out of doing good, and the Edun collections keep getting better. Ever since they stopped giving forensic details of how, why and where the clothes were ethically produced, the collections can be judged on their many merits.


Edun, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Edun, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

The Kosrof artwork was used not only on the floor but also as patterns on velvet devoré, while jewellery and hair decorations came from a Berber silversmith. The silhouettes included high-waisted trousers and snug knits. In an era of fast fashion and mountains of clothing waste, Edun offers clothes with thought for humanity.

Maiyet: Thoughtful Architecture

The gap between doing good and looking good is hard to cross. Since its foundation, Maiyet’s purpose has been to use handwork, sourced worldwide, to benefit disparate artisan producers but never make anything look like a “pity purchase”.

Maiyet, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

The weakness of the brand is that while the origin of the fabrics is impeccable and often unique – such as ethically produced and environmentally sustainable cashmere - the clothes themselves do not make a powerful statement. The show notes listed the photography, architecture and designs of Carlo Mollino as the source for seductive and playful clothes.

 But I don’t consider slip dresses over bare skin or a black lace V-neck gown as anything exceptional. Maiyet does not have to make a bold fashion statement to sell its graceful clothes.

But I would prefer to see a presentation - perhaps a mix of still life and models - where the Creative Director Declan Kearney and the company’s founders, Kristy Caylor and Paul van Zyl, could explain Maiyet’s progress. It can’t be truly understood from just a catwalk show.


Maiyet, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Maiyet, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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