When Jullianna Charlton’s mother died in 2012, she discovered several pieces of artwork her mother had created that were hidden throughout her house. Her mother’s early artistic ambitions, as a young woman with an Indigenous background, were not supported by her family. “It was a legacy that I wanted to live on,” Charlton says. To bring her mother’s work to the world, Charlton decided to combine it with her passion for yoga and showcase the designs on leggings. “It was cultural-based art for a cultural-based practice. From there, it kind of took on its own life.”
Working under the label Nominou – an homage to Naomi, Charlton’s mother’s name and the words “no me, no you,” – Charlton started looking for local production facilities in Vancouver in 2014. “I can’t take sacred art from our Indigenous people and then have it mass produced in a country where it’s questionable ethics or creating emissions for the environment by shipping,” she says. Nominou’s leggings, shorts, tops and scarves are all made of eco-minded materials including postconsumer waste, with each pair of leggings repurposing seven plastic water bottles. She also uses an anti-bacterial moisture-wicking fabric made of non-harvested, recycled, washed-up shrimp and crab shells.
Artist appreciation is a major focus of Charlton’s work. Over the years, Nominou has collaborated with artists from other cultures, including those of Asian, European and Indian ancestry. Charlton commissions each design and the artists receive royalties from sales. “There’s nothing more satisfying than driving down the street and seeing somebody wearing your leggings. I can recognize them a mile away.”
Nominou Athleisure, nomidesigns.ca.
Eagle & Raven Yin Yang Shorts, $65.
Wolf and Moon Capri, $97.
Whale Blue Legging, $107.
An opulent new fashion tome dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent is being released this month. Published by Assouline, Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection is the newest addition to its Ultimate Collection of handcrafted volumes. It features images of 100 signature pieces from Saint Laurent’s 40-year career at the helm of his own label, including icons like the Mondrian shift dress, his Ballets Russes collection and the black dress Catherine Deneuve wore in the film Belle de Jour. The book’s author is Laurence Benaïm, who has written several books on Saint Laurent and other designers. For more information, visit assouline.com.
Footwear brand Allbirds is increasing the transparency of its operations. In an effort to monitor its environmental impact, Allbirds is now labelling each of its products with carbon footprint details. Working with third-party carbon experts, Allbirds developed a life-cycle-assessment tool to measure the impact of the production process, from materials and development to manufacturing and end-of-life. The first product to be labeled with its carbon output is the Dasher, a new sneaker style that produces 9 kilograms of CO2 per pair, nearly 30-per-cent lower than the estimated average. Its materials include sugarcane, eucalyptus and merino wool.
Fashion and beauty brands continue to announce donations to organizations working to fight COVID-19. Canadian outerwear brand Nobis donated 100 per cent of all online sales during the month of April to support hospital and health care workers around the world in addition to a $100,000 financial commitment to Ontario hospitals. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has announced a US$1-commitment to COVID-19 related causes through the World Health Organization and New York City. M.A.C Viva Glam is dedicating US$10-million towards 250 global organizations as well as giving 100 per cent of proceeds from the sales of Viva Glam lipstick to vulnerable communities.
To honour the contributions of health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, Canadian footwear company Zvelle has created a pair of sandals named for Emily Stowe, Canada’s first female physician and the founder of Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital. In March, the brand also asked their community to nominate health care heroes on social media, with the goal of giving 300 pairs of Emily Stowe sandals to recipients in Canada and the United States. Made in Italy, the Stowe sandal features Zvelle’s signature laser-cut upside-down heart pattern and is available in several colours of leather and suede, including a bright purple. For more information, visit Zvelle.com.
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