By Renee Harr ison Drake
A High Art Beauty Pageant Cap tures the Attention of Collectors oF Impressionist and Modern Art
U2 frontman Bono has become a fixture in Washington advocating for Africa, but now the co-founder of DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa) is getting his "aid not trade" message across with faded jeans, skinny blazers and t-shirts. In 2005, Bono, his wife Ali Hewson and designer Rogan Gregory launched a fashion brand called Edun. But don't worry, despite the rock star pedigree, Edun doesn't offer over-thetop, bespangled rock star threads. Instead, the line features modern, understated casual wear with prices ranging from $50 to $300. Currently 30 percent organic and moving towards 100 percent, Edun is all about making ethical consumerism stylishly sexy, not preachy and bland. Edun uses locally-run factories in Africa, South America and India that were selected because they represent a "gold standard" - high quality craftsmanship, humane working conditions and fair wages. Bono and Hewson want to have 100 percent of Edun's production based in Africa within the next few seasons. Why? "Africa has lost six percent of the world trade since the seventies," Hewson explains, "If they could regain one percent of that, Africa would earn $70 billion a year. They currently receive only $22 billion a year in aid." As you're rocking one of Edun's white denim summer suits this spring, you might forget that the company's ethics are woven right into the clothes. Not to fear, each pair of jeans reminds you of its origins, bearing this inscription: "We carry the story of the people who make our clothes around with us."
Instead of displaying Edun's fall 2006 line in typical runway fashion during NYC's Fashion Week, Bono, his wife Ali Hewson and designer Rogan Gregory hosted a gathering inspired by the salons of Gertrude Stein in an Upper East Side mansion.
The newly opened Georgetown Barney's Co-op carries chic earthy items for men and women, including Edun's signature denim as well as t-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with art-nouveau style swirls.