Founded in 1976, German-based clothing company Hessnatur began producing organic cotton apparel long before "green" was more than a color.
And while the brand has been quietly selling key basics in natural and organic cashmere, cotton, and wool for decades, its reputation was anything but cool. (In fact, some considered the clothes to be a bit dowdy.) To freshen the label's look, it teamed up with fashion insider Miguel Adrover in 2008. The designer now does a seasonal collection, which has proved successful editorially--and on the retail floor.
Now Hessnatur has scored another fashion coup: Eviana Hartman, the girl who’s made green fashion cool through her Bodkin line, has collaborated with the brand for Fall 2010. She describes her new collection as more broad and less experimental than Bodkin. She wants her friends--and her mom’s friends=--to be able to wear these pieces.
But her aesthetic is definitely there. There was a hint of asymmetry and multi-functionality to the pieces. One funnel neck sweater could function as a hood, a wrap, or a scarf. Effortless. The collection was very slouchy and cozy, with a nod to grunge. Eviana acknowledges that. “Everything I do has a 90s feel,” she says. This is just fine by us. The collection is neutral, with pieces ranging from a light slate to black.
Another favorite piece was the boiled wool long motorcycle jacket ($248). It'll look amazing worn over the equestrian-meets-motocross paneled leggings. Hessnatur doesn’t have a brick and mortar presence in the US, but you can find the look online as of August 15.
We also got to see Adrover’s Fall collection, consisting of mostly wool and alpaca pieces. His clothes are a bit more structured and tailored, with a nod to menswear. There's also an ethnic vibe, as reflected by the patterned sweaters. One huge draped cable knit sweater looked really inviting.
In addition to these new designer offerings, Hessnatur is running a contest through July 1 to send two people to Peru for three weeks. While there, the winners will spend some time on the brand's alpaca farm. It's an amazing opportunity to learn more about organic garment production--and to hang out in Peru!
Hessnatur still has plenty of room to grow its business in the US, and it's seems like it's on the right track to do so.