WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The Brazilian designer introduced new season styles made out of recycled cotton and cardboard.
Footwear designer Alexandre Birman is committed to increasing his label’s sustainability efforts and used his AW20 presentation in Paris as a platform to speak about his newfound commitments.
Social responsibility should be at the forefront of fashion,” said Birman.
To that end, he worked to develop new season styles using materials like recycled cotton, cardboard and chrome-free tanning leather. His footwear factory in Brazil, which produces all of Birman’s collections as well as Vans shoes, is also working towards making improvements by moving towards using 100 percent renewable energy, recycling all the waste generated during production, repurposing vintage materials and switching to certified recycled packaging.
Birman wanted to ensure that the new sustainable family he introduced in his Autumn/Winter 2020 range included styles that were ethically-made but also looked just as luxurious and aesthetically-pleasing as the rest of the collection – an important development in the shoe world where sustainability efforts have been mostly limited to sneakers and less sexy styles so far.
Birman succeeded, as the different strands of the collection – that ranged from standout $12,000 crystal-fringed boots to the new sustainable ‘Leslie’ pumps made out of recycled cotton – all came together and inspired the same feminine, luxurious feel the designer is known for.
Other highlights in the range, which was presented on an Art Nouveau staircase placed in the middle of a grand room at the Ritz hotel in Paris, included a series of boots featuring intricate laser-cut flower motifs, inspired by the patterns on stained glass. They were placed next to Tiffany lamps made with the same stained glass that inspired the shoes and lured many photo-ops.
A lace-up platform sandal, featuring a subtle iteration of the trendy square toe, was another hit style catching buyers’ eyes.
IMAGE COURTESY OF @ALEXANDREBIRMAN
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