Mass Appeal was originally printed in RVA #30 FALL 2017, you can check out the issue HERE or pick it up around Richmond now.
The Good Wear Blog Launches To Highlight Richmond’s Sustainable Fashion
“I think a lot of parts of the ethical fashion movement can be compared to the food movement that started years ago,” remarked Kelly LaFerriere, the writer behind The Good Wear blog.
Like we might examine the label of our meat and produce, LaFerriere pushes her followers to do the same with their clothing and accessories. “Everyone in Richmond wants to do better for the world in some way and that’s why I think some of these ideals fit well with the city,” she stated.
On her newly launched blog, The Good Wear, LaFerriere has highlighted local shops including Verdalina and Love This who carry ethically made and environmentally friendly clothing, accessories and housewares. She’s also featured Liberatus Jewelry whose designer, Ginny Rush, frequently uses ethically sourced metals and environmentally conscious processes. LaFerriere also mentioned Shopping consignment is another great way to shop consciously.
“Shopping local has risen as something that’s important to do and we’re now all doing it in Richmond as a way of life,” LaFerriere explained. “These brands raise awareness because they are local and they also try to promote the global scale of the business while they do it.”
LaFerriere will collaborate with Love This to host another Fashion Revolution Week in Richmond in 2018, which will bring in speakers, presentations, and events to raise awareness. On The Good Wear, LaFerriere also highlights national and international brands who sell ethically sourced and made goods. Travel guides will also highlight places to shop in cities around the world.
In a sea of bloggers who endlessly feature big box stores, LaFerriere’s creative stamp on the platform is one to pay attention to. “I simply want to create better content that tells the story of this movement and how we can all make it our own,” she reasoned.
Brittanny Chanel Rebrands As Sun & Selene Jewelry
Geometric minimalism, hammered metals, natural stones, and zodiac inspired designs comprise the shapes and textures of Brittanny Chanel DeRaffele’s jewelry brand Sun & Selene. Under a new name and vision, Sun & Selene has morphed into the goddess DeRaffele always thought it could be.
It all began in her aunt’s jewelry store, which had plenty of antique and estate pieces to capture her imagination. Years later, she picked up a studio art minor during her senior year of college. This led her to try metal work or the first time.
“Day one I knew — this is where I’m meant to be,” DeRaffele recounted. “I haven’t put the torch and hammer down since. The thought of being able to sketch something on paper and then turn it into something you could wear, out of metal, was really addicting. I spent hours in the studio just working away.”
DeRaffele launched her first jewelry brand in 2010, which was self-titled as Brittanny Chanel Jewelry. Her original designs are similar to those found in her Sun & Selene collection today. “I’ve always thought about the idea to ‘effortlessly adorn and empower,’” she explained.
By 2016, she was searching for a new brand identity to better connect her vision to her products. From the beginning, her designs have been inspired by nature and astrology. The new name nods to Selene, the goddess of the moon, which was the name of one of her first ring designs — still a best seller. “Simple, dainty but powerful, subtle, and hammered” is how DeRaffele describes the pieces.
“I think my favorite part of the rebrand is that if you look back through the history of the jewelry, it feels like it was meant to be Sun & Selene all along,” she remarked.
Jackson & James Opens First Men’s Boutique In Scott’s Addition
Richmond’s fashion sense is changing, especially when it comes to men’s clothing.
“We’ve seen workwear starting to include dressed-up denim,” said shop owner Rachel Anderson. “There’s also a shift to investing in well-made things that are going to last a lifetime.”
Anderson opened Jackson & James Men’s Clothing boutique (3200 Rockbridge St.) with her brother Mike Anderson in the summer 2017. The men’s shopping destination prominently carries raw denim and by winter, Rachel says the shop will have 25 cuts and colors available, all made in the USA.
“It’s the foundation of a man’s wardrobe,” she remarked.
Rachel and Mike have created a space that is much more than a store. It features a lounge area where men can relax during the shopping process. The boutique’s location in Scott’s Addition was one they thought long and hard about. The two scouted locations for more than two years after Mike decided to leave the banking industry he’d been working in for 20 years.
“Scotts Addition checked every box: it was centrally located, we could design the space, and it was up and coming,” Mike explained.
Situated next to a growing number of breweries and restaurants, the store gets just as many destination shoppers as they do walk-ins. Customers who are transplants from cities such as Los Angeles and New York say this is the kind of shop they were used to — personal attention, high-quality items, and curated collections.
Alongside the extensive denim collection, Jackson & James carries shirts, outerwear, socks, scarves, and additional items that are exclusive to their store in Richmond. In addition to apparel, customers can find candles, home decor, and even custom razors custom created from salvaged wood that are, believe it or not, locally-sourced coming from a Shockoe Bottom warehouse through Quills Confectionery And Woodworking.