Sustainable designer lines might flourish all over the fashion sphere, yet it would seem that only a few brands can be credited for making it happen. Noir, a Copenhagen-based fashion group, was smart enough to get rid of all the hippie dippie connotations the fad carries by injecting some major sex appeal into sustainability.
Writer Philippe Pourhashemi
“The company was created in 2005 by Peter Ingwersen, who designed the collections at that time and had a visionary streak,” explains Niels Egelund, Noir’s CEO. “He wanted to create a luxury brand with an ethical message. Peter’s claim to fame was making corporate social responsibility sexy.” The aesthetics of Noir are feminine, elegant and slightly subversive. Black is a leitmotiv, using fair-trade and organic materials, such as leather, silk and cotton. Inspired by the Victorian era and Peter Weir‘s Picnic at Hanging Rock, the Spring/Summer ’11 collection – called “Black Powder” – offers sensual and sophisticated looks, using glossy leather, semi-sheer high-necks and starched cotton. Despite Ingwersen having left the company he founded, his legacy lives on and new projects have been launched, such as Illuminati II, a branded fabric collaboration between Noir and Ugandan organic cotton producers, supplying high-end houses with Illuminati II fair-traded materials. Still, the economic climate proved to be a challenge for Egelund: “after the credit crunch, some of our clients faced budget cuts and opted for the Pradas and Guccis of this world instead. However, there are more and more intelligent consumers who don’t want to be buying things all the time. They see fashion as a meaningful process and that’s a really good thing.”
Some looks from Noir’s SS11 Black Powder show: