EXCLUSIVE: “My Red Carpet Look at Runway to Green, My New Ethical Fashion Initiative, and More” by Zani Gugelmann
Vogue Magazine has always been very supportive of me; they were the first to launch my jewelry line, Filigrana by Zani, in their September issue of 2002 and they’ve continued to stand behind me both as a designer and as an individual. When they invited me to be on the Honarary Host Committee of Runway to Green’s Bid to Save the Earth event, I felt honored.
It was quite a coincidence, actually, since at that time I had just begun researching ethical and environmental fashion. I decided to focus on my passion and bring together all my contacts, that I have made over the last ten years of living in New York City, to help bring awareness to the issues surrounding ethical fashion.
Filigrana and Santo by Zani
I started my first jewelry line, Filigrana by Zani, in 2002. All the pieces were made of gold and silver filigree. I would design the pieces in NYC and then have them made by local artisans in northern Peru, close to where my mother was brought up.
Then in 2008, I launched another a more conceptual jewelry line, called Santo by Zani. The line consists of 3 different bullets which you can personally design on the website by choosing the gems and metals. Based on the definition of a “silver bullet,” a simple solution to what seems to be a complicated situation, the bullets unscrew to reveal a little scroll where you can write a goal. Each time you wear it, you’re reminded that it’s not difficult to reach you goal, you just have to focus on it.
I’m now starting a new chapter in my life focusing on ethical and environmental fashion, which is not too far off from what I was doing before, working with artisans in Peru and raising awareness abroad of their beautiful work.
Finding a Red Carpet Look for Runway to Green
The event crept up on me so quickly and I was far from prepared. I wanted to search for a sustainable dress that would suit my taste, however, there weren’t many options out there and time was running short. So I decided to focus on the jewelry and I knew exactly where to go: Monique Pean.
Monique is an amazing designer, individual, and a dear friend. I have always admired her jewelry for many reasons, not only are the designs beautiful but the materials are ethically- and environmentally-sourced, including stones, which are sourced through the United Nations-approved “Kimberley Process,” which prevents conflict stones from entering the legitimate diamond market.
For the event, I chose a conflict- and devastation-free diamond slice and 18k recycled yellow gold necklace and a peach conflict- and devastation-free natural aquamarine and diamond ring with 18k recycled rose gold.
Overall, “the look” was a huge success.
The crowd was great at the Runway to Green’s Bid to Save the Earth event; it felt like a celebration to “save the earth,” especially after the shocking tsunami in Japan, people were enthusiastic and happy to be able to be a part of such an event.
They were also very generous during the auction (they raised $1.26 million in one night!) and the Runway to Green fashion show was stunning, it was quite a sight to be seen.
I look forward to meeting more partners in crime in creating a global movement - making ethical and environmental fashion, fashionable. I have a project in the works, so wish me luck. I’m going to give it a try — stay tuned!
- This is a guest post written by Zani Gugelmann for PastFashionFuture.com
I met Zani last year when she approached me to discuss the ethical fashion project she mentions above; we later collaborated on the project and have stayed in touch since. I thought Runway to Green would be a great opportunity to share the story behind the style, while channeling Livia Firth’s Green Carpet challenge and getting the word out about Zani’s new project. As she said, keep tuned! (Photo: courtesy Zani Gugelmann.)
Copyright © 2011 Emma Grady. All rights reserved.