I wanted to introduce you to the recently launched new e-commerce fashion company, VIDA. You can shop sustainably and responsibly just in time for the new holiday shopping season. Read on for the fashion-insider scoop below and an exclusive interview with the co-founder and CEO Umaimah Mendhro.
The sustainable fashion scoop on VIDA:
“VIDA brings global consciousness and an impeccable sense of taste to style-seekers through carefully selected artistic partnerships and luxurious, responsibly produced clothing and accessories—starting with a line of tops and scarves.
VIDA is able to produce limited and one-of-a-kind items to meet demand, giving you a say in what designs are produced.
VIDA will launch with 200+ designers and artists from around the world, including photographers, graphic designers, painters, sculptors and more, from Karachi to Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco to Sofia, London to Barcelona and Venice to Tokyo.
VIDA offers more than 75 designs on 5 types of products:
100% modal scarves: $40
Cashmere-modal scarves: $75
100% silk square scarves: $95
100% silk modern short sleeve top: $65
100% silk modern sleeveless dress top: $75
VIDA gives shoppers access to high quality silk, modal and cashmere products and unique designs at reasonable price points.
Through carefully selected manufacturing partnerships, VIDA is able to ensure fairness and economic empowerment at every step of the process. VIDA has partnered with responsible producers and offers all craftspeople a living wage and literacy classes.”
Interview with co-founder and CEO Umaimah Mendhro:
Candy Washington: What was the inspiration behind the collection?
Umaimah Mendhro: Growing up in Pakistan, I dreamt of becoming an artist, yet couldn't get myself to pursue that path because I was worried I might not be able to make a living. Throughout my professional career in the US in technology and business, I kept my love for design and remembered the huge footprint that the textile industry has in Pakistan. Many of the millions of people working in the industry are struggling to make ends meet.
We founded VIDA to give emerging, global artists an opportunity to share their gift with the world while getting an opportunity to make a living. And to give shoppers access to beautiful, original pieces that are made in a way that create a positive impact.
CW: What are the eco-conscious elements within the collection?
UM: We create products to meet consumer demand. So, unlike other retailers and designers who may have excess inventory from season to season, we drastically reduce waste by sticking to a model that only produces what consumers will buy. To that end, we also keep very little product on hand.
VIDA believes in sustainable and fair manufacturing practices. We work with our manufacturing partners to ensure that our producers receive literacy classes and a fair wage, enabling them to build a better life for themselves and their families.
CW: How did you select which artistic partners and brands to collaborate with?
UM: Artists can post their designs (any type of art--from watercolor to photographs to digital art) directly onto our site. We produce those designs and make them available to our shoppers, encouraging our shoppers to be a part of the process.
We focused on finding emerging talent all across the globe. We looked at artists showcasing at Fashion Week across cities all over the world, those recognized by the industry, as well as those who already had a fanbase on social media. VIDA designers include: Elle Magazine’s ‘Up and Coming Fashion Designer from Sweden,' Emma Lundgren, Vogue.com’s top 10 fashion grads to watch, Cigdem Keskin from Turkey, and Tokyo based ‘Top Hat Designer of the Year,’ Honoyo Imai. We've really tried to include work from artists we personally admire, and we've found that those were often the pieces that resonated with our shoppers as well.
CW: What are some of your favorite pieces from the curated collection?
UM: The beautiful part about the collection is that it offers such a rich diversity of artistic perspectives - across over 20 regions around the world - from Milan to Tokyo and San Francisco to Sofia. I am particularly excited about our tops. They're very easy to wear and flattering, yet strikingly beautiful. And the slate and white palette will pair well with everything. I also think that any of our warmer cashmere-modal scarves are perfect as we head into winter. We have vibrant, colorful designs based on watercolor paintings like "Maria" (by Maria Virginia Montiel from Barcelona) along with more understated pieces based on photography like "Project Rare" (by Jennifer Corrales from San Francisco) -- it's a curated collection with something for everyone.
CW: Where can we go to shop the new line?
UM: VIDA products are available at http://www.shopvida.com/.