Green Youth Movement at Los Angeles Fashion Week 2010
Kristinit at the Green Youth Movement Showcase at Los Angeles Fashion Week 2010

By Shelton Cheeks, LuxEco Editorial Assistant and Fashion Stylist

On October 16th, Los Angeles Fashion Week forged its alliance with the Green (R)evolution by featuring a showcase of designers, produced in part by  The Green Youth Movement, or otherwise known as GYM. This organization, headed by the beautiful Chole Mills and Vice President Ema Gersh, is  600 members strong nationwide.  They are dedicated to educating the younger generation about environmental awareness, promoting common sense approaches to adapt an eco-friendly lifestyle and participating in events much like LA Fashion Week to amplify their message.

The former president and founder of GYM Ally Maize was not able to attend fashion week because she just recently enrolled at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Which is known as one of the greenest colleges in the states. I did get the chance to sit down with Ally’s mom, Rochelle Maize in her absence. Rochelle gave me a more in depth breakdown of what GYM has accomplished and what they see for the future. Anyone that talks to Rochelle can see the passion in her eyes about this movement her daughter Ally has become dedicated to. This is far from a hobby for Ally and her dream team, this is something real.

The Ladies of the Green Youth Movement, Chloe Mills on the left
The Ladies of the Green Youth Movement, Chloe Mills on the left

I have to admit I was a little nervous meeting Rochelle in one of the most famous zip codes in the world, 90210. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I got a chance to meet Rochelle, Megan Smith and Bonnie Rejaei. Two other representatives for the Green Youth Movement that have dedicated much of their personal time to promote the organization. These ladies were some of the most down to earth individuals that I have ever met. We got a chance to connect on a personal level. We laughed and talked about food, me growing up in Texas and how a bad pair of bad shoes can ruin any outfit (which the ladies strongly agreed.) Most importantly, the conversation always resorted back to the main purpose of my visit- How to better educate the public on living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Being a fashion stylist, I have attended my fair share of fashion shows, but the atmosphere that GYM created for this event had an inviting and welcoming ambiance (a rarity in fashion!) Even my Managing Editor Bethany Colson commented on the refreshing lack of attitudes and egos. People were more involved and dedication to the spirit of GYM and proving that you don’t have to sacrifice your style to go green.

GYM’s LA Fashion Week was strong and cohesive. Four designers, who were talented enough to be mistaken for some of the heavy hitters in the business, hit the runway with eco-friendly collections. These designers had something different to offer and you can see they are all fine tuning their eco-niche in the world of fashion.

Kristinit at LA Fashion Week 2010
Kristinit at LA Fashion Week 2010

KeoK’jay, very distinct name by the way was one of the first collections to showcase. The off the shoulder number with the crisscross backing that blazed down the runway in pearl white and then in a soft gray, was a great way to start off the show. I think my co-stylist Dow has already put in an order to purchase this particular piece. I’m wondering if Keokjay will be able to keep up with the vast amount of orders for that particular dress.

Kristinit was another line that hit the runway. I got the chance to view her website a few weeks before the show and I was anxious to see what was to come. I like to call them feminine and fun pieces. The turquoise mini-which is one of my favorite colors by the way-is a sexy and flirty number for any age group, young or mature.

Jonano, owned and designed by Bonnie Siefers had the crowd wanting more. Her collection was spectacular and the navy bamboo velvet dress she was wearing is a must have for any woman’s personal collection (but you will have to

Emily Factor at LA Fashion Week 2010

wait as she informed us it would be in her upcoming fall line up.)

Last but so not least, Emily Factor present her line, one of the most anticipated collections to be featured at LA Fashion Week. I got the chance to meet her publicist Serene Cicora, who was a total sweetheart and very inviting in letting me meet with her client. I personally told Emily, “ Im not crazy about patterns, but the way you do patterns is oh-so-right.” Her line will be featured in New York this up coming week as well. I’m excited to see Emily Factor’ star quality rise in the fashion world and I’m not just saying that because she said I have gorgeous eyes. Thanks Em!

To see so many talented individuals come together to promote an initiative that will help people adopt a more healthy lifestyle touches my heart. Paired with the fact they are all doing it with such style and grace, makes it even more worth while. Like Rochelle Miaze told me, we are all in this together and only together will be able to make a difference-not only here in the U.S but the world. Thank you for allowing me and my organization, LuxEco, be apart of something so meaningful and powerful. I’m excited to see what the future holds for GYM and the Green (R)evolution.

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