IVY hosted a New York Fashion Week Runway Show with Livari, the new eco fashion label, at Kia STYLE360 on Wednesday, September 13. A collaboration between Alysia Reiner (award-winning actress from Orange Is the New Black and Better Things, and an environmental and feminist activist and producer), Claudine DeSola (celebrity stylist and founder of Caravan Stylist Studio), and Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs (Women’s March organizer and designer of Tabii Just), Livari is a luxury fashion line that was created with the sole purpose of empowering women. It is zero waste, women-led, women-designed, and made ethically in New York.
“IVY is excited to partner with Livari to offer its fashion enthusiast supporters an insider’s experience at New York Fashion Week,” said Beri Meric, the co-founder of IVY. “We are proud advocates of Livari, as the brand aligns both with IVY’s Emerging Designer Program and our social impact division, with Livari’s amazing mission to create eco-friendly, ethically sourced womenswear.”
IVYtv interviews Livari’s trio of founders to discuss their mission of making a zero waste luxury fashion line.
The fashion show marked the launch of the highly-anticipated clothing line. The evening opened with a live performance by Frida Sundemo, the Swedish singer who has been making waves in recent years with her emphatic, ethereal, electronic-inspired music — a fitting opening for a show centered on female empowerment.
Models then took to the runway, showcasing striking, idiosyncratic designs tailored to a series of special guest models. Livari’s trio of founders personally selected the models who showcased their designs on the catwalk, including author and entrepreneur Summer Rayne Oakes, founder of Pretty Connected Lara Eurdolian, actress Nichole Galicia, activist Blair Imani, model and founder of ShortVersion.com Cleo Abram, and actress Christiane Seidel. The group painted a diverse picture of what it means to be an empowered woman in this day in age. One model strutted out with baby in arm, while another wore a shimmering, bright red hijab. Reiner herself danced down the catwalk.
“Claudine actually brought us all together because we’re all such advocates for both women and the environment,” Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs said before the show. “And together we decided — how can we create something that disrupts everything? And it was all about looking at how many things can we change: can we change the materials we use? Can we make it slow, not fast? Can we truly be zero waste? Can we employ women coming out of prison?”
After the show, the 300 IVY Members in attendance had the chance to meet the designers and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Livari line. They were invited to touch the fabrics, including fish leather —just one example of Livari’s many efforts to cut down on the amount of waste and environmental stress caused by the fashion industry. “Manufacturing a typical garment produces an egregious amount of waste – up to 15% of the fabric used to make a garment is tossed out and can end up in landfills,” said Livari founders Reiner, DeSola, and St. Bernard-Jacobs. “By using the remnants from mills and sourcing other unique and ethical materials, we’re able to create something beautiful and desirable out of what would normally be discarded as waste.”
A number of high-profile guests were in attendance, including: Orange is the New Black cast members Francesca Curran, Alysia Reiner, Emma Myles, Laura Gomez, and Amanda Stephen; Anson Mount (InHumans, Hell on Wheels); Ashley Williams (How I Met Your Mother, The Jim Gaffigan Show); Kristen Taekman (Real Housewives of New York); Holly Taylor (The Americans); Marianna Palka (GLOW); David Alan Basche (The Execs); Paula Garces (Lipstick Jungle, Devious Maids, All My Children); Sarah Merrill (Big Kid Problems); Or Grossman (actress, model, and partner at Q-Basics); and Tal Sharon (Chief Marketing Office at Q by Dorit Sharon).
Francesca Curran, who works with Alyssa Reiner on Orange Is the New Black, lauded her fellow cast member’s work. “I think it’s amazing she’s trying to bring green into fashion,” Francesca said. “I think it’s really what makes sense in our world today. We’re running out of resources — every day we have less. Fashion is the only piece of the puzzle that, to me, felt like it was missing. So, kudos to her, she’s really stepping up. Making cute clothes that are able to be sustainable.”
Kristen Taekman, from Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York, was equally congratulatory. “I think everybody has to do what they can, whether that’s recycling at home or by stopping putting chemicals into our bodies. I think that a lot of people don’t know what to do, or that recycling that one piece of water won’t help — but every little bit helps. And that’s why it’s so fantastic to be here tonight.”
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