It’s no secret that in today’s time, people are becoming far more concerned with environmental issues and our ultimate impact on the planet that we inhabit. Consequently, the “go green” lifestyle is one that most of us are familiar with and have probably even considered for ourselves. While there may be many options on the market as far as eco-friendly energy consumption, dieting, and recycling, there has definitely been a void in the fashion arena – until now.
Vegan Queen is a luxury handbag line that is based solely off of eco-friendly principles, and the brand is definitely creating a stir amongst the fashion industry’s environmentally conscious insiders. The designs and materials are completely recyclable, non-toxic, organic, and cruelty-free. We caught up with designer and spokesmodel Evelina Zdunczyk, to get more information about her collection.
Clutch: Tell us a little bit about Vegan Queen. How did the line come about?
EZ: I’ve worked as a model with many top designers in the fashion industry such as Karl Lagerfeld, John Varvatos, Erin Fetherston, and Richard Chai. This helped me greatly in building my own company. Working so closely with this kind of talent was very inspiring, and consequently inspired me to create my own handbag collection – considered eco-luxury.
Clutch: What is the meaning behind the name?
EZ: Vegan Queen represents the Queen who lives in the ecological castle. Powerful yet responsible, she appreciates the finest things in life, while limiting her impact on the world around her. Today’s modern fashionista and veganista care about how they look and their impact on our environment. Vegan Queen is a woman who is aware of who she is.
Clutch: For those who don’t know, could you please briefly explain what it means to be a vegan?
EZ: Veganism and vegetarianism share similar values in life that stretch far beyond the food we eat. These philosophies reflect a broader lifestyle – from what we wear, to how we live, to our impact on the world around us. Vegan Queen’s mission is to promote a modern luxurious healthy lifestyle while insuring a sustainable future.
Clutch: Has eco-friendly design been an obstacle at all? Do you ever find it more difficult to source fabrics and materials?
EZ: One of the most frequent complaints we hear from environmentally conscious consumers is the amount of “green” associated with green living. It’s challenging to find the best materials and avoid greenwashing your business… VQ materials are truly eco-friendly and they are a great alternative to animal skin. Cruelty-free luxurious accessories – it’s more luxurious in every aspect. Quality, ethics and price…. the perfect incarnation of those three tenets!
Clutch: The silhouettes of your bags are very innovative and unique? What inspired such strong, geometric styles?
EZ: Vintage 60’s – strong geometric [shapes] and bright colors, such as in the Signature Composition-VQ Diamond bag.
Clutch: Unlike many fashion lines today, yours is actually “Made in the USA.” Is there any particular reason why you chose not to handle production overseas?
EZ: VQ wants to support local businesses. Vegan Queen is on the market to help promote a Green lifestyle and push the envelope of sustainable business practices in USA.
Clutch: Our readers may be surprised to hear that you were actually a trained musician first – opera singer, pianist, and lead vocalist. What prompted your transition into the fashion industry?
EZ: I am a born artist expressing my creativity through drawing, painting, performing, styling and designing. I like expressing my creativity through a variety of channels… I have worked with top fashion designers in the industry and got inspired to design my own collection.
Clutch: What are your favorite pieces in the collection?
EZ: The Diamond Bag… Conflict-free diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the unique shape will turn heads for the right reasons. You can give back to the environment and look great. Join the movement and make green the new black!
Clutch: Can you offer some beginner’s tips to entrepreneurs like yourself that would like to adopt “green” business practices?
EZ: I think it’s challenging but necessary to make green changes. It’s still hard to create an eco-friendly business, but it’s good to start somewhere with recycled paper use, carbon neutral shipping, and nontoxic natural fibers. It’s necessary to embrace the concept of being eco-friendly on some level and push the envelope of sustainable business practices. My advice is to think big, establish your positioning, and stick to it.
Clutch: Stemming from the release of VQ’s “The Queen goes Green” Eco Tote, the brand has already gained widespread popularity amongst celebrities such as Madonna and Heidi Klum, and been featured in major publications like WWD and Vogue. What’s up next for Vegan Queen?
EZ: Vegan Queen strives to impact the world by transforming the way fashion views luxury, and spreading the word about [living a] socially conscious luxury lifestyle. Recently, Vegan Queen co-sponsored the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s “Diamonds Give 2008” benefit event at Greenhouse NYC. VQ Diamond bags were exclusively previewed at the party, where auction proceeds benefited Charity Buzz @ www.charitybuzz.com.
Clutch: Lastly, when you have a day off from work to go out with the girls or take a night out on the town, what do you pack in your CLUTCH?
EZ: I carry a few essentials such as my VQ wallet, lip plumper, Badger rose hand cream, hydrating water spray, Tea Tree chewing sticks and camera… lol… maybe vegan condoms!
For more information on Vegan Queen please visit www.veganqueen.com.