Maison de Mode’s 5th Annual Sustainable Style Awards Honored Carolyn Murphy and Aurora James

Maison de Mode’s 5th Annual Sustainable Style Awards Honored Carolyn Murphy and Aurora James

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Los Angeles is no stranger to grandiose awards ceremonies—rather, you could call it the hub for such events. But when Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre of Maison de Mode, along with co-host Amy Fine Collins, gathered guests at the famed West Hollywood Edition Hotel for its 5th annual Sustainable Style Awards on Friday evening, the atmosphere was nothing like the hustle and bustle of many industry events. Instead, the night commenced with 40 or so attendees for what felt like a familiar dinner. “A room of friends,” Pierre called it.

Launched in 2015, Maison de Mode was created to house a wealth of sustainable fashion brands under one roof, naturally leading to the onset of its Sustainable Style Awards, which first kicked off in 2018. This year’s Sustainable Style Award honored Carolyn Murphy, the model-turned-designer whose recent Homegrown Collection with Mother Denim challenged the brand to further its impact with a 100% sustainable collection. For the collection, she built a 14-piece capsule with scraps from trips to rag shops she’d taken with Mother’s founders Tim Kaeding and Lela Becker, along with denim stock from the brand’s warehouse.

Brother Vellies founder Aurora James was the night’s Impact Award honoree, taking the podium with less of an acceptance speech and more of a moving stream of consciousness recounting of the inception of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, the nonprofit organization the designer launched in response to the murder of George Floyd and the lack of representation for Black people and businesses in corporate America and, specifically, retail. From an idea she kicked off with a post on Instagram to a successful movement—Sephora was the first major corporation to commit to the pledge within ten days— the initiative, which calls major retailers to dedicate a minimum of fifteen percent of its shelf space to Black-owned businesses, has since generated $10 billion dollars for Black business owners in the retail space.

True to the spirit of Maison de Mode, a number of sustainable and environmentally friendly efforts went into the night. An elevated rustic dining experience was complete with a tablescape of white floral decor that was to be repurposed and composted after the night’s events. Guests including Olivia Perez, Carlos Lopez, Hannah Bronfman, Stephanie Shepherd, Emma Kenney, Chriselle Lim, and Victoria Barbara enjoyed a thoughtfully presented plant-based three-course meal. Solar-powered lighting illuminated the secluded space, and of course, sustainability took hold in the form of fashion as well.

Murphy donned a newly launched Gabriela Hearst crochet bag, handmade by artisans in Bolivia. Palsha’s otherworldly gown, with fringe created from upcycled leather, was the work of Project Runway winner Jhoan Sebastian Grey. Meanwhile, some guests even thrifted their ensemble for the night. After a plateful of vegan ice cream and ample hugs and “congratulations” later, many were whisked away in cozy, carbon-neutral vehicles. 

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