by Joshua Katcher
Linda Loudermilk is making waves that are hitting the coasts of Europe, Asia, and both sides of North America. She is also turning the seaweed in those waves into textiles. With almost a decade of experience in eco fashion, Linda is finally being ecstatically celebrated for her investments and achievements. Everyone is talking about her – and getting a seat at her runway show is a coveted pilgrimage.
After abandoning the Haute Couture runways in Paris to feed her soul by conducting research with environmentalists, scientists, and textile innovators – she is responsible for many of the eco fabrics that are gaining ground (and body coverage) and being recognized as both necessary and desirable. Her cri de coeur is both aesthetic and holistic – citing the healing power of nature that saved her very life – and the overlooked health and environmental devastation from conventional garment production. Linda Loudermilk design is for rock stars and creative professionals alike – and she has a loyal and growing clientele including discriminating celebrities and eco warriors. Like any visionary, she admits she is perpetually learning – lamenting about her use of leather in the past, but looking forward to creating an entirely vegan shoe line for men and women in the near future.
Beyond her personal collection is the LUXURY ECO™ Stamp, which is part of her vision for how the very best products can be identified based on everything from labor practices and environmental impact, to design and aesthetic.
I had a few moments on the phone with Linda recently. Here is our interview:
DB: When did you start making menswear and what kind of man wants to wear Linda Loudermilk?
LL: A man that wants something different! I have preppy men, creative men, and stars all as fans of my menswear. I’ve got it all. Adrian Grenier, Leonardo DiCaprio, producers – even computer geeks, and they all just wanna wear it because it feels good. Its for the 20 to 50 year-old that wants a nice cut and that are professionals, but still creative.
I stared making menswear about 2 years ago – but I started very slowly with simple Tshirts. Within the last year the quality of woven fabrics I was looking for finally enabled me to get the shirting and suiting fabric I needed to do the collection in the way I wanted it. I noticed that men really felt the difference in the fabric. The men that wear the seaweed shirts – I can’t even explain the look on their face! They have a look like “I’ve never felt something like this before in my life!”. With men its always been about comfort – at least in the last 50 years. They really can feel the fabric feeding their skin -the seaweed with the sea salt. Same with bamboo – its much better for your skin because it wicks away moisture and has antibacterial properties. Seacell is seaweed bonded to wood pulp – they bond it naturally on a molecular level. Its not forced with chemicals – and when your skin warms up the fabric, the benefits of the seaweed nourishes the skin. I’ve been working with the textile company to design these fabrics – that’s why I’m a leader in the industry – because I hook up the scientists with the fabric manufacturers.
I used to do couture in Paris, but I realized no matter how honored I was to be there, it didn’t have any meaning to me. So I had to reinvent my profession. 8 years ago I came back to states and worked on sustainable fabrics. The quality of the mens fabrics is amazing right now. We have suits & tuxedos made out of sasawashi – its a leaf from japan that is anti-bacterial and anti deodorant. They first used it to make sushi (it regulated small) and it also was used as insulation in homes. So I made fabric out of it and now its a fabric in line! We don’t have to use synthetics to create what we need a fabric to do.
apply for the stamp of approval because its gonna make a big difference! Visit my website. We can have a stamp of approval on almost anything . I am looking for high-end, well made cool fashionable items of any kind – or people who do services! Anything! Tell me how are you eco, where do you stand and why.
Also – big news, I am coming out with vegan shoes for men and women!
Linda appears in W Magazine