All the glamour of the Paris shows. All the comfort of your sweat pants.
Sharon Wauchob is Irish, attended London’s Central St Martins school, designs for Edun in New York and shows her own eponymous line in Paris. So who is the Wauchob woman? “It’s more a matter of using what is available and specific to the country," Sharon told us backstage after the show, “For instance France has incredible, unique lace and pleating techniques.” Indeed, Sharon, who previously worked on textiles at Louis Vuitton is growing to be an expert at fabric treatment. Her collection, shown last night in Paris’ Beaux-Arts school, is a game of laces, playing on the subtlety of layering two sheer fabrics, contrasting fur and fishnet-like broderie anglaise.
Under some train tracks in an outside alley in Chelsea, Sharon Wauchob debuted her first collection for Edun. Edun is, of course, the eco-label founded by Ali Hewson and her famous husband. You know who it is. He sings in a band. He wasn’t there. (Gavin Rossdale was, however.) Edun has been plagued by some inconsistency issues since its inception in 2005. After a big welcome from retailers in the beginning, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Edun was carried at only 67 stores worldwide, down from hundreds at its heyday in 2006. The company floundered further after creative director Rogan Gregory left in 2007 and the industry as a whole was hit by the recession. Enter LVMH, who purchased 49% of the company in 2009. Sharon Wauchob was hired as creative director, and most of the company’s production was moved to China after retailers complained about the quality of the garments coming from African facilities. Ali told the WSJ, “It’s a fashion company. That needs to be first and foremost.” Some t-shirts, denim, and jewelry will still be produced in Africa, and the company is hoping to increase African production in the future.
Late August means acquisition time in luxury conglomerate land, so we're not surprised to hear that LVMH has been chatting up Rodarte, as WWD reported this morning. The article stressed that no deal has been made, but that LVMH is still very interested in the Los Angeles-based fashion label, which has yet to turn a profit. While LVMH has stayed away from fashion acquisitions over the last couple of years--the company has been more interested in buying yachts and such--it did scoop up 49% of ethical clothing brand Edun in late 2009. more WWD suggests that the purchase of Edun shares was simply a symbolic one driven by founder Bono's fame. However, we hear otherwise.
Socially-conscious fashion label Edun has had an interesting couple of years. After breaking up with designer Rogan Gregory, the label kind of floated for awhile, and no one was quite sure where it was going. That is, until founder Ali Hewson signed a deal with LVMH, which injected a bit of cash into the company, allowing Hewson to hire new creative director Sharon Wauchob. Not only is the Paris-based, Irish born designer's first women's collection for the brand getting rave reviews (it's selling at Barneys like hot cakes, we hear), but she and Hewson have also re-launched menswear, which debuted at Bloomingdale's last night. (Apparently, these collections were designed by a freelance team, not Wauchob. Regardless, they looked great, and I'm assuming the general direction of the firm is set.)