Leading Hollywood stylist, animal rights activist and founder of creative agency Le Frenchlab, Emmanuelle Rienda, set out with a bold agenda when she brought the world the inaugural Vegan Fashion Week, held in downtown Los Angeles at the start of February 2019.

Her vision? “To empower conscious brands and humans globally with an elevated platform for achievement, inspiration and discovery.” While Rienda’s intention for VFW was one of inclusivity, the four-day event was a “tribute to animals and an ode to the end of animal exploitation.”
In other words, she intended to put cruelty free fashion firmly on the global map. And that is exactly what she did.

The glittering invitation-only launch party took place at the Museum of Natural History, where guests were treated to an intimate viewing of select pieces created by animal-free designers from around the globe. Think: Matea Benedetti, Ran Enda, Mireia Playà, as well as Wasted LA and Kat Von D. Esteemed organic and vegan restaurant, Café Gratitude helped cater the event.

These same designers also featured in the main runway show, which took place the following evening inside California Market Centre’s Fashion Theatre. This show was open to the general public, with tickets costing between just US$20 and US$60.

Guests could visit Vegan World at the California Market Centre over the course of the week. A vegan lounge offering cruelty free fashion, beauty and food provided the perfect place to chill out, as the centre bustled with over a dozen vegan apparel and accessory designers.

From ballgowns and faux fur coats, knitwear to accessories, vegan leathers and several other cruelty-free, eco-friendly fabrics took centre stage. Vegan celebs Moby and Mena Suvari were seen perched front row on opening night.

Rienda’s timing was impeccable. In 2018, Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier followed in the footsteps of other luxury fashion houses and announced they’d be going fur free, with Chanel also banning the use of exotic skins. And then L.A. made international headlines when it became the first major city to ban the sale or manufacture of fur.

Given the growing press given to veganism going mainstream, it was only a matter of time until the need for change and transparency filtered from food to fashion and beauty. The final sign off goes to Rienda herself, who stated to great applause at the launch of the runway show: “Our generation is ready to make changes. We are ready, we are willing, and we are here to push a strong message for the future.”

Amen to that, sister!

vegan fashion week success


Image courtesy of Vegan Fashion WeekMain image courtesy of 100% Pure.


About the Author


Co Founder, The Vegan Company.

Prior to launching The Vegan Company, Melissa co-founded Meat Free Week, an award-winning, global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact excessive meat consumption and production has on animals, the environment and human health.

Having traded life in the city and a successful career in magazine publishing for the serenity of coastal-country living, Melissa now lives in northern NSW, Australia with her husband, two daughters and a colourful menagerie.

Melissa believes there’s a huge shift occurring in the way the world views and treats animals and is excited to be a part of the global vegan movement driving this.

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