(US) Vegan couture: Faux meets fabulous
- (CNN) -- For Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, being vegan isn't only about what
she eats and chooses to wear each day.
Avoiding meat and dairy in her diet and animal-derived products in her
closet is just part of the equation for the 30-year-old designer,
businesswoman and animal lover. As founder of fashion label Vaute
Couture, her dedication to creating animal-free coats, sweaters and
other cold-weather gear has earned her a global cult following among
animal rights activists and eco-conscious fashionistas.
Her activism began when she was 10 years old with an elementary school
social studies project in suburban Chicago on factory farming and the
fur industry. She became vegan at 17 and continued her activism in
high school with a campaign for alternatives to animal dissection in
science class that, with the help of national group Animalearn,
eventually became Illinois law.
This week, she took her philosophy to New York Fashion Week, where she
debuted her first ready-to-wear line in a solo show Wednesday, less
than five years since starting Vaute Couture in 2008.
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