Friday, October 30, 2009

Ecouterre's Launch Party and my new life as an Eco Chick!

There is nothing finer than walking around Manhattan on a crisp autumn afternoon, or is there? Perhaps there is, if it includes meeting up with a friend to partake of an eco-friendly event at a cute eco-fashion boutique! That is just what I did yesterday afternoon! I took the train from Princeton into Manhattan at a little after two pm and arrived at Penn Station at about a quarter past three. I had not eaten lunch so I went on the prowl looking for something tasty and healthy. After seeing about a million packed Starbucks walking down from 32nd and 7th, winding through parts of 6th Avenue I finally made it to 5th avenue and somewhere between 25th and 22nd I found a shop with a cafe! A veggie burger and lemonade later I was back to my quick walk down 5th Avenue in search of Kaight for Ecouterre's Launch Party.

Yes, you read correctly! I walked all the way from Madison Square Garden to Lower Manhattan, to a small boutique on Orchard between Broome and Grand. Even though my feet were killing me by the time I arrived at my destination, I must say that a more romantic walk I could not have had. Some may be shocked when I say this but it was my first time ever going to the City alone. How freeing and exhilerating it was! My eyes were filled with wonder as I walked, as though I were discovering great treasures along the path to the greatest treasure awaiting me. I wandered through some very beautiful places, stumbled upon Washington Square Park and saw a myriad of fun boutiques the closer I got to my destination.

Having fullfilled my first mission as an eco-chick (to walk everywhere whenever possible), I was ready to meet the wonderful people from Ecouterre and meet the purveyor of wonderful eco-fashion garments at Kaight. The evening promised to be ecclectically wonderful and so it was! I arrived at my destination a bit early so I got some coffee next door first. At last I could not wait any longer so I approached the shop and was greeted by the smiling faces of Kaight and the Ecouterre crew and what a fabulous bunch they were! Wonderful extroverts, eager to chat and so full of wonderful information from the eco-fashion world! Walking into Kaight is an immediate delight for the eyes. All of the properly placed items for sale look great in the simple and minismalistic way they are arranged, giving enough room to walk around the store while drinking it all in at the same time.

I was very drawn to the scarves pictured at left and some really great vegan boots that were too cute to be true! I have to say that Ecouterre's staff were as down to earth as you would expect them to be and quite fashionably dressed. Their bright smiling faces lit up the room and the event by all accounts was a success. Being the first guest to arrive I was able to get some much coveted face time with the honorees of the event, a fact that I must say was very important to me. For some time now I have been drawn to all things eco-friendly and when Ecouterre began about a month ago within the Inhabitat family I was immediately hooked. Add to that the fact that my friends at Socks for Happy People also love Ecouterre, there was nothing better than to go and put in a good word for them at this most iconic event! And so I did.

One of the hi-lights of the evening for me was to be able to speak to Ecouterre's managing editor, Jasmin Chua. So approachable and easy to talk to, she is the type of person any writer would want to work under. I found her to not only be kind but encouraging as well. Also, quite the social butterfly! It was loads of fun talking to her about how Ecouterre got started (for those of you who do not know much about Ecouterre's parent website, Inhabitat, it is mostly dedicated to eco-friendly architecture and there were some who found the mention of eco-fashion in the weblog not in keeping with its original focus, thus the birth of Ecouterre), the vision of the weblog and how the content is judged. Jasmin is quite the visionary and it's no wonder the others were happy to see her when she arrived. It was a real honor and privilege to be able to have such a great conversation with her.

I was also happy to share this wonderful shop and these wonderful people with my friend Andrea who came to accompany me on my quest for more insights into the eco-fashion world. The event was full of pizzaz, from the wonderful vodka and lemonade drinks to the dainty vegan thumbprint cookies (which were delicious, by the way) to the raffling off of that most amazing Circle Cascade Necklace by the Andean Collection. Designer Amanda Judge was there and her pleasant smile could be seen as people approached her to talk about her beautiful creations. It was an event not to be missed. Another hi-light was getting to meet and speak with Jill Fehrenbacher, founder of Inhabitat. Not only is Jill super down to earth but she is amazingly great at connecting people with each other. Had she not introduced me to Jasmin I would not have had such a great conversation. Of course, talking to Jill at the onset was inspiring as well and showed me that when there is great talent and passion for what one does one can really go far and that is what Jill has done.

A few other people from the Ecouterre team I met include Yuka Yoneda, Rebecca Paul, and Daniel Mendes-all really great people! You can read about all of these incredible people on the Ecouterre page in the About section. All in all, the event shined with a bright light and I acquired an interesting little book called The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green by Starre Vartan, on sale at Kaight. I highly recommend it to the eco-fab fashionistas everywhere. So many amazing things at Kaight and such a wonderful evening were topped off with a great slice of NY pizza with Andrea on West 4th. I went home happy, with a beaming smile on my face and eager to learn more, do more and write more about the world of eco-fashion!

Want to see more photos from the event? Click here --> Ecouterre Launch Party @Kaight. These are my own photos, hopefully I will be able to share the link to the professional photos soon! Enjoy!


Nadia Marie


Richard said...

Loved the wistful introduction Nadia - I too walked and walked New York from top to bottom and back when I lived there for a bit and it was a simple pleasure! Your description brought it all back, and so great you felt such exhilaration going it alone.

The opening evening sounded fun, and jam-packed with good people. Did you buy anything I wonder? Or make a note of anything to ask Santa for?

Thanks for mentioning us to the folk there, really appreciate that. I'm really looking forward to getting our socks in hip boutiques in NYC soon : )


Tom Minter said...

Wow! That's awesome, Nadia!

So glad you had a great time.

Did you see any cool socks?!

Stacy (S.E.W.Butterfly) said...

Looks like you had a grand time! I love walking in a big city and looking at all the things you can see! You would miss them riding in a cab, car, or even the bus. That's what I miss about my hometown, Chicago! I'm glad you had a good time!

Nadders23 said...

Thanks Rich, Tom and Stacy for all your lovely comments! Glad to get such great feedback!




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