Eco Accessories Take Center Stage in Juried Challenge

In a recent competition in Miami, accessories are seen as valuable assets in a growing eco wardrobe.

EcoArtFashion Inc. and LMNT Contemporary Arts of Miami, Florida recently joined forces to host and sponsor the first annual EcoArtccessories challenge, a juried competition calling for artists and designers the world over to create and submit one of a kind fashion accessories using eco-friendly techniques and recycled materials. The competition included the following categories: head piece, neck piece, waist piece, arm/wrist piece, hand piece, hand bags and shoes.

EcoArtFashion Inc. is a concept created by renowned fashion designer and visual artist Luis Valenzuela in an effort to bring attention to innovative art and fashion-based ideas formulated with an earth friendly consciousness. EcoArtFashion Inc. developed the EcoArtccessories challenge as a means to bring special attention to accessories designed and created with sustainable materials in mind.

The jury was composed of Emma Grady, Publisher of, Michael DeSio, who works in Merchandising Management for Saks Fifth Avenue and has an extensive background in fashion including stonecutting and his own men’s shirt collection, Daniella Sforza, Curating Director for LMNT Contemporary Arts, and Luis Valenzuela. Valenzuela says the group of internationally renowned professionals were hand-picked based on their experience in the art, design and retail industries as well as their boundless support of EcoArtFashion Inc.’s green world mission.

Lisu Vega

I asked Emma Grady why she believes it is important to further develop, support and highlight the presence of eco accessories.

“Accessories can transform an outfit. It’s more acceptable to wear accessories (rather than clothing) day after day so they simply get more wear. They serve as a way to experiment with new styles without changing a whole look entirely. Like fashion, eco accessories can serve as great conversation pieces, which is an opportunity to share the story about their origin, whether they’re hand made by artisans or made with an unexpected material,” says Grady, adding that more mainstream designers are dabbling in eco fashion with accessories as they are also a way for designers to get their foot in the door designing sustainable products.

Valenzuela said they received over 100 submissions for the competition with designers implementing materials like recycled cardboard, wire, recycled plastic and unexpected hardware pieces.

Grady says, “I enjoyed seeing a collection of brightly-colored bracelets made with recycled fabrics. They were visually appealing, rich with texture, and statement pieces that would add instant personality to an outfit.”  The selected winning and finalist pieces were chosen by the jury considering use of materials, creativity, and innovative concept.

The winning piece was a geometric-inspired bracelet submitted by Carla Nesci made of hand painted repurposed cardboard from shoe boxes, food boxes, and other pieces of thin cardboard. Finalist’s whose work will also be featured during EcoArtFashion Week are Lisu Vega, Olga Saretsky, and Pat Taylor.

Carla Nesci

The winner and finalist’s works will be showcased on the opening night runway show for EcoArtFashion Week December 2011, and at the “Wrap Yourself In Art” party on November 28, during Miami’s Art Basel, a week-long annual event drawing more than 200,000 art and fashion enthusiasts.

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Images: EcoArtFashion Inc., top image bracelet by Pat Taylor