What words come to mind when you hear “vegan fashion?”
Do you think modern, stark, minimal elegance?
If not, allow us to introduce you to IIKONEE (pronounced e-kOn-ee).
Founded by German-born, LA based designers Tatjana Schuck and Benita Shun, IIKONEE’S debut AW14 collection boasts powerful lines, timeless simplicity, and a commitment to vegan ethics and sustainability that will no doubt illicit sighs of relief from cruelty-free fashion lovers around the globe. When we caught a glimpse of their stunning SS15 lookbook, we knew we had to learn more.
We love that you have chosen not to use any wool, silk, leather or fur in you designs. Did you always know that you wanted to create a cruelty-free brand?
We are both vegetarians so it came very naturally to us. However, the decision not to use any animal products in our brand is not just because we don’t eat them or that we think that millions of animals shouldn’t be killed for the sake of fashion. It’s because we also believe in the connection between using animal products and the environment. Tanneries are listed as top polluters on the Environmental Protection Agencies list (EPA).
Let’s talk about the fabrics that you have chosen to use — has it been challenging to find cruelty free and eco friendly fabrics that live up to your aesthetic standards?
We design clothes that are meant to last. At the beginning of every collection we always ask ourselves what we can do to make this garment more sustainable. Its a constant effort to approve and we are always on the lookout for cruelty free and sustainable fabrics in order to achieve a high quality product.
Do you think that the fashion world is starting to move away from the idea that only animal based textiles can be considered luxurious, or do you think we still have a long way to go before plant based fibers and synthetics are considered desirable fabrics?
Unfortunately sometimes you can get the idea that lot of designers don’t address ethics and consider fur or leather as luxurious and beautiful. That’s the sad part about the fashion industry. But awareness is rising and our customers seem to really appreciate our principles.
What do you hope for the future of fashion?
Like we said before, awareness is rising and we are hoping that more fashion companies are going to follow other industries who are already taking the step into a more sustainable and ethical world.
Who is the IIKONEE woman?
Our ideal customer is a strong, conscious, modern, feminine and sophisticated woman with an understated glamour.
Want more? Shop our favorites from IIKONEE’s AW14 collection, available now at IIKONEE.COM.
All photos courtesy of IIKONEE