Wednesday night turned it out for the fashion-meets-conservation crowd. Stylish environmental activists gathered at the Metropolist in SODO to support Seattle-Peru based charity Hoja Nueva. The cocktail benefit included an international fashion show, Peruvian musicians and performers, and a silent auction to get much-needed aid to protect Peru’s rainforests. Sponsored by the Consulate of Peru, AVEDA and NOVICA of National Geographic, this ambitious project promises the planting of cacao trees in the Piedras region of the Amazon, an action that has a three-tiered effect: the trees help protect wildlife, combat tree loss and climate change, and provide cacao for the area (as well as for Seattle chocolate manufacturers). Plus, every $30 raised goes to protecting five acres of Peruvian rainforest with conservation, reforestation, and sustainable agriculture programs facilitated by Hoja Nueva.
Hosted by models Kimber London, Claudia Lorena, and Meiko Parton, the runway had a mix of modern meets traditional from Seattle designers Astrid Vidalon, Beyond Threads and Built for Man, as well as designers from all over with connections to Peru: Evelyn Brooks, Las Polleras de Agus, Claudia Falconi, Collage Cloth and many more. The night included beautifully embroidered garments for women and children, sleek couture from Jose Zafra, incredible performance by Washington dancers Umario and Natalya, and an artisanal marketplace featuring Peruvian art, jewelry, and handmade gifts for sale. The night of fashion, activism, and cultural awareness ended up being a success (the place was packed!), garnering donations through ticket sales and auction revenue, and probably more than a few hundred cocktails. For additional images, runway shots are already live on Fashion for Conservation's Instagram and background information on all designers is available at producer A-Dot’s website.