I went to Designers & Agents New York this past February, and seriously, for me, it was more exciting than Fashion Week. I could've easily spent a month looking at all of the amazing designs and talking to the designers. But, meanwhile, back in realityville, I only had about an hour to spend there. Thankfully though, I made it count since I met Annie Novotny, who's the Chicago designer behind Frei Designs -- an eco-friendly label that's actually stylish. Seriously. Annie, who's incredibly cool, showed me Frei Designs' Fall 2009 collection. Everything -- down to the buttons -- is made with pesticide-free fibers and natural dyes. Annie also supports U.S. mills and manufacturers and fair trade.
And while her Fall 2009 collection includes fabrics hand-woven in India and organic wool from Vermont, Frei is NOT what you'd wear to the Phish reunion. (Shudder.) This is high-end, high-style organic gear, and yes, I KNOW that sounds like an oxy moron and that usually you (and by you, I mean I) equate organic clothing with the type of chick who'll chew your ear off about how you suck for not joining the local veggie co-op, but I swear -- you won't even KNOW Frei's organic! You don't even have to tell people if you don't want them to know! (Helping the environment can be YOUR little secret!) Check out the slightly-Goth/Victorian-inspired reversible cape jacket above. It's way more Anna Sui than String Cheese Incident.
+ Read an interview with Frei Designs' Annie Novotny check out Frei Designs and the Frei Designs blog.