As I write this I am truly content, still vibing off my runway debut at Vancouver Fashion Week this past October, 2019. My vegan leather bags & accessories brand White Rhino Bags strut down the catwalk. Each model draped in the brand’s designer accessory collections, dressed head to toe in outfits I created from 100% upcycled post-consumer materials. It was an ambitious undertaking, with only 3 weeks to prepare - but I had a vision and I was committed to it. The whole thing came together just in time and exceeded all my expectations.
While vegan fashion and sustainability-focused fashion showcases are on the rise all over the world, this particular season at Vancouver Fashion Week did not have an overruling niche or category that it specifically promoted. So being the vegan and sustainable brand of the event was both an honor and, I believe, one of my greatest achievements.
You see when White Rhino Bags launched in September of 2018, the number one purpose was to make vegan leathers and designer quality bags & accessories accessible to the mainstream market. By offering functional, unique designs at a competitive price the brand aims to make the ethical option an easy choice when shopping for gifts or for oneself.
There is no reason to continue to rely on or support the production of animal-derived materials in fashion. Animals farmed for their skins and furs suffer incredibly inhumane treatment, living anguished unnaturally short lives without being shown the love and compassion that all beings deserve. In addition to this, the negative impact on the environment that wool, fur and leather production reaps is among the most harmful and destructive. Climate change, poisoned soil and waterways, even the recent fires that ravaged Australia are all directly related to the negative impacts of misguided human consumption.
The response the brand received after showcasing at fashion week signals a major shift in the way everyday consumers are thinking. Men and women from all walks of life approached me to let me know how impactful my presentation on the runway was and how deeply the designs spoke to them.
Individuals of all ages, ethnicities and social standings are looking for ways to minimize their impact and lead with LOVE. No matter who you are you can make a difference simply by choosing to support mindful companies that are committed to being cruelty-free, who actively give back and strive to create with purpose.
If you’d like to get a behind the scenes look at my road to the runway I did Vlog the adventure – It was not a smooth ride (as you will see) but it was 100% worth it, and if you ever have the opportunity to showcase or attend a fashion week I recommend you take the opportunity.
The Prelude - Reaction Video
A candid moment after receiving the news that I'd be showing at fashion week. I recount past experiences and start planning
Episode 1 - Second Hand Hunting
Time to make turn sketches into reality. The search for used materials begins as we explore the second-hand industry
Episode 2 - The Big Sew
A race against the clock to sew it all. I have the opportunity to interview a business woman who's made a name for herself in the sewing community
Episode 3 - The Finale
After a brief nervous breakdown the time has come to present. Watch the full runway show and the behind the scenes footage at Vancouver Fashion Week