By Julia Szabo
It is always a lift to see one’s favorite luxury brands making strides toward heightened sustainability—and it’s even more inspiring to see design houses challenge themselves to improve sustainability, year after year, one conscious collection at a time. “Disposable fashion isn’t in our vocabulary,” says Emily Smith, creative director of Lafayette 148. “Spring/summer 2022 is our most sustainable collection to date. We’ve put a lot of effort behind new development in fabrics made using regenerated synthetic fibers that are created using incredible state-of-the-art sustainable technology, while upholding the same luxurious quality Lafayette 148 is known for.”
One such sexy synthetic is regenerated poly plissé. Polyester fibers, originating from recycled plastic bottles, are reinvented, spun into a textile that’s at once “drapey yet resilient,” with built-in structure thanks to its intricate plissé pleating. In the hands of Lafayette 148’s design team, it’s turned into glamorous, game-changing dresses, skirts and blouses.
Smith’s distinguished fashion background (including stints at Eskandar and Bill Blass) is evident in her vision for Lafayette 148: At once on-trend and timeless, items that drape do so with fluid elegance, while tailored separates are sharp and chic. Very often, to the delight of the label’s devoted following, Lafayette 148 looks are both flowing and fitted.
With spring/summer 2022, great care was taken to keep customers cool in every sense of the word. As Smith explains, “We’ve continued to expand even further into organic cotton—from poplins to chambrays and our denim—and now knits, as well as an organic, traceable European-grown linen that’s just gorgeous. For the new swim collection, we sourced an innovative fabric made of reclaimed ocean plastics.” Aerobic swimmers and languid poolside sirens, wearing Lafayette 148’s consciously crafted, reversible two- or one-piece suits—tinted with eco-conscious dyes and adorned with hand-braided straps—can all appreciate that the brand’s swimwear statement “supports the health of our planet’s oceans.”
Lafayette 148 loyalists can look forward to continued plunges in the sea of sustainability. “We’re looking at more organic and eco-friendly fabric options, textiles created using innovative sustainable technologies, as well as diving into our own archives and looking for fabrics and yarns we can recycle in new and innovative ways,” says Smith. “While responsible sourcing is not a new concept for the brand, we’re focused on increasing this more and more with each collection.” lafayette148ny.com