Paris Journal, Day 5

Paris Vegan Day drew in almost 5,000 people from all over France and Europe! The day started with a buffet vegan brunch at the La Bellevilloise Cafe where James and I met up with Brice Partouce of April77 and his pals. There was a line out he door and so many people showed up for a vegan brunch in Paris that it blew my mind. Who knew? The atmosphere was great – I loved the space. As I’ve mentioned, something I really fell in love with about Paris is all the attention to detail and aesthetics that is considered. We had more creamy soy yogurt, tofu-scramble, risotto, salad, breads and spreads – one of which was like vegan Nutella, mango juice, and of course, perfect espresso.

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Later I emceed a fashion show featuring C-PAS, Mademoiselle Pimpante, Olsen Haus, Under the Pyramids, Herbivore Clothing, Vegetarian Shoes, Lili Cerise, Funambulle, and then gave a 45 minute talk on Fashion & Animals to a full crowd. I am thrilled to say that was asked to come back to Paris in September to give the talk at American University! I am so stoked, and really looking forward to this. Later, my roommates Isa and Terry of Veganomicon / Post Punk Kitchen / Viva Vegan! gave a cooking demo, and there was vegan shwarma and chocolate chip waffles and so many other things happening I couldn’t keep up! For a full list of participants, click here.

That night, vegan choreographer James Koroni and Paris’ own Celine Orang of Creadanse – who is also veg – performed with my friend Princess Superstar who totally rocked the house! Check out James’ new website Enforced Arch, that has a great article about the night. Enforced Arch is dedicated to using dance as a platform for addressing social issues like animal rights, as well as highlighting other veg dancers and performers like Tonya Kay, Bettina May and Ray Hesselink.

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PARISIAN PIONEER: C-PAS’ Pierre-André Senizergues

Pierre-André Senizergues has a Hollywood story. He went from a Parisian childhood, to being homeless on the streets of Venice Beach, to becoming an international skateboarding champion and then one of the most influential and respected businessmen in the apparel and skate industry, heading-up Sole Technologies, Inc. Now, with over 25 years of revolutionizing skate culture, Pierre is again setting new standards and breaking new boundaries with social responsibility and environmentalism. C-PAS is Pierre’s latest personal endeavor, and along with designer Pierluigi Pucci, Senizergues is making menswear from recycled parachutes and tarps, organic cotton, soda bottles, sustainable fabrics, and he is finally addressing the fact that leather can never be sustainable.

I stopped by the Soho, NYC studio to try on some of the clothes, and chat about C-PAS, sustainable fashion, and menswear.

Lionhearts & Battle Cries: 20 Lines for 2010

by Joshua Katcher
featured on

Tevas with socks. Cargo Pants. Slogan tees. Let’s face it, people who care about ecosystems, animals, and worker’s rights aren’t typically celebrated for their sartorial poise. Likewise, most designers who care about form, function, and aesthetics aren’t typically known for their environmental wisdom or empathy; Fur coats, leather everything, toxic cotton, sweatshops.

There is new breed of designer, though, not so easily written off, who can turn old televisions into jaw-dropping shoes, who foster relationships with organic cotton farmers in developing countries, who invest in research and development of warm, biodegradable, recycled, cruelty-free textiles, whose aesthetic vision is not hampered by the challenges of navigating ethical dilemmas, and who – armed with tencel, lenpur, hemp, recycled fabrics, faux-fur, soda-bottle ultrasuede, and organics – aren’t afraid of challenging the tragic credo set by heritage brands.  In a culture where the iconography of the rebel is tied up in so many embarrassingly common and mainstream social, environmental and ethical muddles, these true iconoclasts are redefining cool, and reinvigorating the lost meaning of dressing like a dissident.

1. Vaute Couture. Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart is the prefect example of a designer who dreamed big. Her line went from a fantasy (gorgeous, eco, vegan winter coats that can handle Chicago in February) to reality. The line looks as amazing as it is warm and ethical; 100% Cruelty-free, sustainable, and fair-labor. Vaute Couture took over 8 months of fabric research and development and launched just last year, but has already garnered a host of celeb fanatics from Emily Deschanel, to Alicia Silverstone, and Ginnifer Goodwin. The men’s line launches August 2010.

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