City Pulse

By Samantha Smikle

Do you ever think back to that jean jacket and pant combo that you couldn’t get enough of? All that denim should not only be remembered as a tragic fashion moment in your lifetime, but an opportunity missed to be environmentally conscious.

It’s not too late to channel your inner Captain Planet. National Jean Company (NJC), veteran denim retailer, hosted a fashion show last Tuesday night featuring Earnest Sewn duds to introduce Make an Earnest Difference, a five-day drive that culminated in an in-store donation event at the Upper East Side NJC location. All the donations were added to Cotton. From Blue to Green, an initiative by Cotton incorporated to recycle denim and other cotton products into environmentally-safe insulation for underprivileged family homes.

Michael Press, president of Earnest Sewn, said that small boutiques and companies have been making organic products for years, but this is their effort to bring organic fashion to a broader audience.

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A light tropical theme throughout the show illustrated the ease of green fashion, rejecting connotations of the heavy canvas-like cotton that we often associate with organic fabrics. Plaid, graphic and satin party blouses were paired with organic Earnest Sewn denim demonstrating the versatility of the jeans. The hair and makeup direction also emphasized that the look could be translated into any girl’s wardrobe.

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The hair and makeup team focused on a natural, beachy look. The hair was “soft and uncontrived as if the humidity caused it to curl,” said James Geoia, senior stylist of Ben David Salon and the makeup was “bronze, bronze, bronze,” said Carla Castillo, lead makeup artist, who emphasized a sun-like effect on the skin by forgoing eyeliner for glitter gold shadow and painted a wet lip on models to conjure thoughts of water.

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A saxophonist and bongo player led the models out to an island-y set for their last walk and as the pile of donated jeans climbed at the door, Jean-Luc Quevauvilliers, creative director and stylist of the show said that this will be one of many upcoming NJC initiatives toward green awareness. He will also be at the in-store event to style game participant winners.

“Fashion plays such a huge part in our life,” Jean-Luc said. “It’s so important for us to be green aware with it.” Ladies, it may be time to say goodbye to your favorite pair of jeans, there’s a new, green boss in town.

National Jean Company wrapped up the denim drive, Make an Earnest Difference, with fashion games, gift certificates, complimentary facials and Crumbs cupcakes. Customers who waited all week for the goody-filled day came out in spurts to shop, donate and be pampered. As part of the festivities, stylist Darshan Gress challenged customers to a styling competition. I competed against Chris, a fashion-forward fellow, to pick out an outfit for Ashley Olsen on a coffee run in five minutes. Each of our outfits was spot on depending on whether Ashley felt grungy or chic, so we were both awarded with a $20 gift certificate! At 500 pairs of jeans needed to insulate one home, National Jean Company’s six New York locations racked up some jeans to spare with an estimated 700 pairs donated.

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Originally published April 2008
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