Q&A with Angela Saxena, Designer of Lav and Kush
Local label Lav and Kush prides itself on its drapey feminine designs. Dubbed "the flirt of sustainable fashion" and named after Hindu demi gods of the woods, Angela Saxena's line has provided Vancouverites their eco fashion fix for several years and is still going strong. I had a chance to catch up with Angela for a quick Q&A about her inspiration and her spring/summer 2011 collection.
How did you first become interested in fashion design?
I first became interested as a little girl, drawing in my father's medical books. I would draw nurses with pretty little outfits in all his books. I have sketches from as early as 6-7 years old. Biggest claim to fame when I was young was having my designs featured for "Betty and Veronica" in Archie comic books!
What prompted you to begin designing an eco-friendly line using natural and sustainable materials? What are some of the benefits and challenges you've encountered in doing so?
I became fond of eco materials around '07 when I realized how damaging conventional materials are to the environment. I always had a mission to create a clothing line that meant something, had a deeper purpose. Some challenges are the lack of diversity of color and prints. [Fabric selection is] advancing but slowly. The cost is also more than synthetics, just like with organic produce vs. conventional, but it is sooo worth it. Consumers more and more understand the value. They're also super soft and luxurious--beautiful drape, highly addictive, biodegradable, less taxing on the environment, breathable...the benefits go on and on.
Can you talk a bit about the aesthetic and philosophy behind Lav and Kush?
We are the "flirt" of eco fashion. We design for the sexy confident woman who will not sacrifice style for her eco consciousness. She loves to look fantastic and feel great in the beautiful fabrics we use. All our fabrics feel great on the skin (hence the "addict" part!). All our pieces are designed with figure flattering details, very feminine yet incredibly comfortable, very versatile.
We also donate a percentage of sales to various non-profits. Fashion should give back! We will be doing more events next year and partnering with different non-profits to raise awareness. It's very important to us to unite our brand with these wonderful non-profits. We really believe in creating a "community" which is why we encourage feedback from our retailers and consumers--open dialogue. Let us know what you think!
If I had to choose a favourite "wear all the time" piece from the spring/summer 2011 collection, it would be [blank] because...
I love our ruffle jersey jumper with dual ruffles down the front. It's sassy and so comfortable. You can easily dress it up or down, wear it with boots in the fall and a jacket (or top underneath) or in the summer with flats. Also our fitted sexy little denim colored linen jacket. Cut almost equestrian style, it gives a great hourglass shape, and again can be dressed up or down.
Where do you see eco fashion in 5 years? In 10 years?
Mainstream. It is growing. We will see more diversity in fabrics and probably will not be called "eco" fashion. Just fashion.
What's next for you, personally and/or professionally?
Well, being extremely ambitious, we hope to grow the brand internationally with our own production facilities in various countries, have a men's division, and have Lav and Kush becoming a household brand! Inspiration comes in many forms, and who knows what next year may hold...a Lav and Kush kids line! Stay tuned!
For more information about Lav and Kush, check out the label's website. The photos featured in this post are from the spring/summer 2011 Eco Fashion Week shows and taken by Wayne Mah. And speaking of Eco Fashion Week, Lav and Kush will be showing their fall/winter 2011 collection on Wednesday February 23rd at 8pm.
Posted by Lisa