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Questions: why this rainforests in particular?

Las Piedras is the last stretch of intact rainforest left in Peru. It is part of the largest biodiversity hotspot on the planet and also a part of the Andes Biodiversity Hotspot. But is completely unprotected land. This means that illegal loggers can log and not get caught--native communities are taken advantage of as illegal activity moves inward surrounding their lands.

Uncontacted tribes still occupy Alto Purus National Park in Las Piedras, but outside pressures are causing them to lose land and resources, especially their food source. Las Piedras and the greater Madre de Dios region as a whole - is the last hope for conserving the entire pristine Southern Peruvian Amazon. It connects three surrounding national parks, which are patrolled and regulated. If we can protect what’s in between, then all three parks are also more protected and wildlife can travel between them safety.

We work in Las Piedras because it is our home now too -- every community is our friend, our family...

Las Piedras is their last hope, and we as a nonprofit serve as its last hope. It is a large area and river - over 64 communities just on one side, but we feel confident that we can steer it in the right direction given the support. It is impossible to say that one entity can take on the world but a small piece of it, with the right team and resources, can do anything!!


What are you most excited about sharing with guests, September 20th?

Ah! So much it’s hard to decided...the core of the event is of course the fashion show, we have 6 rainforest inspired collections by designers who are as passionate and inspired by the rainforests as our team is. Each are so unique—ranging from dramatic avant-garde couture by Kalikas Amour who was in our debut of #RainforestRunway during this past London Fashion Week show to gorgeous structural dresses resemblance of the Monarch Butterfly by local designer Luly Yang and then to the adorable colorful jungle-floral kids line by Poleras de Agus embroidered and made by women in Cusco, Peru.

Aside from the fashion...there’s just so much more. Food, music, dance, chocolate, cocktails, shopping, art, etc....

Of course what excites me MOST is the only thing that will actually be a surprise for our team too which is seeing how the audience dresses up and interacts with everything we’ve created for them over the past year and a half!


What have previous years been like and how is this one different?

In previous seasons, we have shared animal and rainforest-inspired collections from as many as 18 international designers and hosted between 500-800 guests each time...this year is much more intimate with only 300 guests so we can give each a more intimate experience-each guest is a VIP this year. It’s also the first time ever that we’ve done a full sit down meal! It’s going to be epic, who doesn't love an open Ceviche bar!??


What’s the relationship between Hoja Nueva and Fashion for Conservation?

For each Fashion for Conservation campaign, we partner with a grassroots on the ground non profit where we can physically go and visit to connect with their mission and work.

What’s unique about hoja however is that most of our team members are shared. Our co-founder Samantha Zwicker and myself are both co-founders and directors at Hoja Nueva. The jungle there is home for both of us. Sam is there sometimes up to 9/10 months, each year my time extends there too—I went for the first time only for a few weeks, now I don’t like going for any less than two/three months. It’s our heaven on earth.

That’s really why we continue to do an annual gala with hoja, we are now in our fourth year!


Who is Hoja Nueva?

Hoja Nueva is a small grassroots organization and 501(c)(3) charity with a small predominantly volunteer driven team driving conservation impact much greater than seemingly possible in the lower Amazon region of Madre de Dios, Peru. A few projects I’ve personally got to be part of include RE-introducing orphaned wildlife to the rainforest whose mothers have been illegally trafficked or killed by loggers and were able to be rescued from a similar fate, supporting alternative income opportunities to local communities via micro financing and mobilizing volunteers for hands on labor (examples: sustainable cacao production, indigenous artisan program and Brazil nut harvesting), and of course physically protecting/buying/monitoring land.

Hoja Nueva navigates a whole lot more too, that’s just the start.


How can we help? / Get involved?

Come visit us at Hoja Nueva’s eco lodge and conservation center in Peru! We have a few awesome retreats coming up in Jan and Feb 2018. And of course come to our gala! We can’t wait to take you on a walk through the fashion jungle in high style...

Also feel free to check out more info via or on socials—@hojanueva @FashionforConservation



Kelly Zwicker

By Kelly Zwicker


London Fashion Week debuted Fashion for Conservation's (FFC) AW18 Campaign to save the Amazon rainforest. The show was presented by Fashion for Conservation, the United Nations, Fashion Scout, Magpies & Peacocks, Hoja Nueva and the Whitley Fund for Nature.

The show was a catwalk featuring designers' interpretation of the Amazon rainforest, as well as a VIP cocktail party at London Fashion Week AW18. 

PC: Simon Armstrong 

PC: Simon Armstrong 

PC: Simon Armstrong

PC: Simon Armstrong

FFC has engaged the fashion community to become advocates and raise support for grassroots work around the world. 

This season’s preview event, catwalk show and VIP cocktail party put a media spotlight on the Amazon rainforest, the largest biodiversity hotspot on the planet—home to over 50% of all the world’s biodiversity.

Rainforest Runway at London Fashion Week, Sunday February 18th, featured the zero waste collection “Impermanent Flora,”—Re:ne(w) by Rene Garza for Magpies & Peacocks non-profit design house—an avant-garde collection made from end of bolt textiles and up-cycled clothing. Guest designer of Kalikas Armour by Jatin Patel opened with his fantastical rainforest inspired collection, “Magestic Mystics.”

Cocktails for Conservation followed the show, a VIP celebration with conservation themed sponsored by Snow Leopard Vodka, Elephant Gin, Fair Drinks and Bar 135, keynotes speeches by FFC, U.N., and Whitley Fund for Nature ambassadors, and live DJ set by the LALLAS. Drink proceeds benefited Fashion for Conservation’s Rainforest Runway campaign Hoja Nueva, confronting deforestation in the Amazon by protecting land and by providing indigenous communities with the support necessary to produce sustainable crops, and ensure fair direct-trade wages (

PC: Simon Armstrong 

PC: Simon Armstrong 

PC: Simon Armstrong 

PC: Simon Armstrong 

To close the event, guests were gifted a box of chocolates with a golden ticket to the Whitley Awards Ceremony [April 25th 2018, Buckingham Palace] Guests posted a photograph of themselves with a golden “X” [symbolizing a stand against extinction] painted on every hand to put a social media spotlight on conservation and to help fund efforts around the globe by encouraging donations from their social media followers. 

Fashion for Conservation was founded by three women determined to make a positive impact on the world through creating conscious-couture. Nazanine Afshar (Art Director, 100 Years of Vogue), Samantha Zwicker (Conservationist, Hoja Nueva) and Ava Holmes (Fashion Week Producer) combine their careers to create fashion campaigns that educate and inspire consumers while supporting conservation.  Elephantasia, Fashion for Conservation’s previous campaign, rocked September 2017's London Fashion Week runway, featuring designers'  interpretation of the African elephant while putting a media spotlight on the elephant poaching crisis.  

PC: Simon Armstrong  

PC: Simon Armstrong  

PC: Simon Armstrong 

PC: Simon Armstrong 

Will you move forward with FFC towards a sustainable future? What does going green mean to you? We must all use our voices and love for fashion to stand against habitat destruction and loss of precious wildlife. Fashion has a chance to make a difference for the suffering species on this planet- and the movement begins with YOU. 

This event Partnered with The Whitley Fund For Nature [trustee Sir David Attenborough & patron HRH Princess Royal]

Keep up with FFC:

Read FFC's AW18 recap in Fab U.K Magazine:

FFC's Lead Blogger: 

Kelly Zwicker



Kelly is a lifestyle blogger based out of Seattle, Washington. She has her own website She currently blogs her personal style, travel adventures, and health tips. Being a former collegiate tennis player and public health major, Kelly loves to get involved with a variety of collaborations, not excluding her lead blogger role with Fashion for Conservation. She utilizes her passions for photography and writing for her freelance work and creative drive.

Elle L Interviews Elephantasia Lead Designer René Garza

Kelly Zwicker

Music artist, Elle L joins the Fashion For Conservation (FFC) for 2018 to curate special content online and for Fashion Week. We look forward to Elle's future projects and collaborations with FFC as a London Ambassador. This week we shine a spotlight on Elephantasia lead designer René Garza,  interviewed by Elle L. 


René GARZA in Conversation.

The stars aligned last London Fashion Week when I had the incredible opportunity to meet and sit next to lead designer René Garza on Front Row for Elephantasia — a breathtaking and ethically-inspired fashion show created by Fashion For Conservation.

In life there can be a butterfly effect where a chance meeting can lead to greatness. This was definitely one of those moments. I instantly gravitated towards René’s personality and his artistic nature. The beauty of social media meant that we were able to stay in touch when he returned to America. I also connected with Ava Holmes co-founder and director of Fashion For Conservation, which lead to the birth of this concept of a ‘conversation’ between artists about conservation. 

I myself as a music artist find real inspiration in nature. My debut project, Cocoon uses the metaphor of metamorphosis to allude to themes of breaking out and free. Working alongside FFC resonated. I feel the time is now to start speaking up about conscious art, how nature can play a role in creativity and the importance of sustainable art for the future of fashion and other creative industries.

Pictured: Elle L by Dawn-Marie Jones

Pictured: Elle L by Dawn-Marie Jones

René was naturally the perfect ‘first’ for this project as our meeting was so organic and a vital part of this project coming to life. We’ve been keeping the conversation on conservation alive here:

E L: René, it's a pleasure to be able to speak more about your work and the inspirational FFC show Elephantasia. 

R G: It's great we can make this happen.

E L: Do you remember the first moment you chose to be a designer? Was it what you always wanted to do?

R G: I was always into art and photography growing up. I liked fashion in terms of caring about what I wore and went through many different phases of styles - from preppy to goth. But I had never considered being a designer. It’s actually a funny story. I had a friend and he wanted to be a fashion designer. His wife entered him into a competition and she also entered me without letting me know until the last minute, so I had to make something! I went to the fabric shop and brought cheapest material I could find and made this chartreuse coloured piece. It had two slits going above the waist and chains for straps. 

E L: Sounds like a sexy number! 

R G: (giggles) Yes! Although my Mum helped me make it. It was very ’put together’ rather than properly constructed. I entered it. Of course it didn’t win but it was the starting point. We went to dinner with another designer we met and decided to put on a fashion show. We had over a thousand people show up for our first fashion show. 

E L: Wow. When was this?

R G: It was in the 90s.

E L: You don’t look old enough! Was it one of those epiphany moments? Like ‘‘This is what I’m supposed to do’’?

R G: (giggles) I had no intention of being a designer. It all happened very quickly. I had no knowledge. It just took off that way. I think anything visual resonates - design is design, so if you’re artistic it correlates to other areas and if you have an affinity to something it becomes it's own thing.

E L: I agree, with a bit of experience. I would describe myself as a 360 artist because I model, write, direct and of course make music and they all contribute to make up who I am. 

R G: Exactly, we can do more than one thing. I think people sometimes stop themselves from achieving their full potential.

E L: I think it’s contributing towards a bigger movement where we are able to do more and technology allows us. We don’t have to physically cut tape in a studio anymore for example. There’s obviously beautiful qualities to real mediums too but it's great that we can evolve like this as creatives.

R G: Yes, technology is playing a huge role in how creatives work.

E L: I have been told to stick to one thing before because it’s ‘safer’ but it’s not in my nature. I'm still very new but I like to embrace it. My feeling is more and more artists are going in this direction of expressing themselves in different ways.

R G: I think the beautiful thing is that art should scare you. It's hugely inspiring as an artist to do things that scare you. If you feel comfortable that’s when the art gets stagnated. If you’re too confident or it’s too easy, you won't give it your all.

E L: What would you say are your main inspirations & influences?

R G: My main inspiration for design usually comes from Gothic or historical references. Art plays an important role in making a collection. My collections are made from up cycled clothing or end of bolt fabrics, so that really dictates most of what I can do. I get a general theme for the collection and go with what can be done with the materials I have at hand. I’m also inspired by darkness and the colour black. I’m drawn to the mysterious. I’m minimal in my designs. Getting a little bit bolder with colour for Fashion For Conservation.

Pictured: René Garza design for  Elephantasia  at London Fashion Week. As featured in Vogue. 

Pictured: René Garza design for Elephantasia at London Fashion Week. As featured in Vogue. 

E L: How did the collaboration with FFC come about?

R G: My collaboration with FFC started when a dear of mine Leza Raley-Labrador put Ava Holmes and I in touch. We had a general conversation about her efforts and projects and I told her about my work with the non-profit design house Magpies & Peacocks. I really had no plans to show a collection with FFC for their Elephantasia event, but for a few days after I was seeing elephants all day everyday. I saw that as a sign. When I called her back she said there was two days left to submit designs. They accepted my designs and ended up opening and closing the London Fashion Week show at Fashion Scout. 

E L: In what ways does nature specifically inspire your creations?

R G: The Collection showing in February is inspired by flowers. The theme is Rainforest, so I wanted something not so obvious and more about nature. There are layers and volume to the clothes that resemble flowers (at least I see flowers)! l Even when the collection's thematic inspiration is not nature inspired, the fact that they are up cycled, and most have little to zero waste, make them by default inspired by nature.

E L : I'm excited to see it. The zero waste element, alongside conscious consumption with how I source what I eat and wear is a huge thing for me right now! I find it shocking how much waste one person can make on a daily basis and it’s worrying that fast fashion is such a growing trend. My friend has this cool brand called NeverFade in Soho and he has a studio with artists in residence downstairs.

RG: Ah, that’s cool. 

E L: Yes, I’ll have to take you when you’re in London. You can take in a garment and the artist will recreate the piece for you and put bespoke artwork on it. You have something totally unique and it breathes new life into what you’re wearing. Of course you pay for it but it reworks and reframes your style.

RG: Yes, Magpies and Peackocks have a very similar heart with regards to the up-cycling element and I think it’s so important. A huge amount of fabrics and clothing end up in landfill. People don’t always think to recycle. 85% of textiles end up in landfill, that is 12.5 Million tons per year in the US alone.

E L: What role does sustainability and conservation play in your work? Are there challenges? Can these challenges be a source of creativity?

R G:  I use pieces of up cycled fabrics from interior design outlets for example. Otherwise they would go to landfill so I often have a starting point governed by what’s available which is both the challenge but also the positive because it gives me a starting point and focus. I like to challenge myself to use the fabrics as they are so the piece is often tailored around that. It does mean that most of creations are bespoke so it means mass production is a challenge, but is there anything more beautiful than something handcrafted and made specifically for you?

E L: I couldn't agree more. Your closing runway piece for Elephantasia was breathtaking and made from up-cycled material too. I'm aware this piece was inspired by the Elephant - could you tell us how you came up with the vision for this & what was the process involved in creating it?

R G: Thank you, the Finale piece was a re-interpretation of an art installation I created that covered an entire building's facade. I was watching a video of a herd of elephants and the ears moving in the wind reminded me of my art technique. So I took that concept and created a dress. I envision each section as an ear of an elephant and what if they listened and understood what is being done to them and this planet. 


Pictured: Rene's Garza's closing piece for runway show Elephantasia, featured in Vogue.

E L: Have you ever had to make a sacrifice to create the art you want?

R G: I think everyone does. In terms of location I was living in New York and leading a very comfortable lifestyle, working with celebrities as a stylist. Now I’m living in Texas and I have taken huge financial sacrifices to follow my heart. You’ll keep getting certain difficulties until you learn that lesson in life, I think.

E L : But the risk is worth the reward right? I can relate. I think it’s heading for

bigger ceilings. The heart wins.

R G: I hope so! I am enjoying working with so many people making a positive impact on our planet. That has lead to some pretty great experiences.


Pictured: René Garza 

Pictured: René Garza 


You can see René Garza’s Rainforest inspired solo runway show on February

18th at Freemasons Hall, as part of Fashion Scout for London Fashion Week. 


Join us: Cocktails for Conservation. Tickets available here.



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           Elle L and lead designer Rene Garza front row, Elephantasia at London Fashion Week SS18

           Elle L and lead designer Rene Garza front row, Elephantasia at London Fashion Week SS18

I'm incredibly excited to join forces with Fashion For Conservation. The creativity, people involved and purpose behind the organisation inspires me. I'm looking forward to raising awareness and supporting important issues in conservation. 

I had the pleasure of getting to know the team after being sat next to lead designer, René Garza Front Row at Elephantasia for London Fashion Week. It was a breathtakingly beautiful runway show and the stars must have aligned because it's lead me to this moment where I'll now be actively collaborating to create content over the next few weeks and months. 


Upcoming, 'Artists For Conservation' is a concept inspired by my passion for conscious art, nature and all that Fashion For Conservation are doing. We need to draw attention to important issues and I hope to be an advocate for how fashion and other artistic industries can put ethics at the backbone of their work to create in a way that protects future generations of ecosystems and wildlife.  

Artists have such power to initiate change by opening up a conversation. If we bring our voices together, we can create a message and impact on what matters.


Nature inspires me on so many levels. My debut EP, COCOON uses natural metaphor to express themes of change within a person and themes of breaking out of fear to become your most authentic self. The process can be painful but ultimately healing as it allows you to evolve and evolution is a constant cycle. I found using the concept of the butterfly and metamorphosis more potent than to indulge in speaking about myself directly in these tracks. I have more music coming this year, including a re-imagiantion of Bowie's Man Who Sold The World, which I recently performed on BBC introducing, I look forward to sharing many more tracks with you soon.


Elle L joins the FFC team for a special collaboration. Each month she will be curating a new monthly 'artist' feature. Seeking inspirational conscious artists in the world of Fashion,  Music, Beauty, Food & more, Elle L will be discussing how sustainability and nature can be a driving force of creativity and how we can make art without affecting animals and the ecosystems of our world to create a sustainable environment. 

                                                          Image credit: StoyanovandJones

                                                          Image credit: StoyanovandJones


Described as 'One to watch Now and Beyond' by the likes of CLASH magazine - 360 music artist, model, director & writer, Elle L has had works published on CNN international as a writer as well as been part of her own show on the network. She has also worked on Emmy nominated documentary for the IFC and BBC, directed for Copenhagen Fashion Week and as a model has walked for London Fashion Week. Most recently her focus has rooted itself in music, the medium she resonates to the most. Elle L has received worldwide press on her first single, been featured on BBC introducing and her second single, CIRCLES is the new sound of Lacoste Pour Femme.

Elle L represents a new-wave of millennial artists that allow expression to be manifested in a variety of channels, her alignment brings out this energy to find the world's most conscious creators so we can get everyone talking about topics that matter. 

This weekend, Elle L will be interviewing FFC lead designer, René Garza in the lead up to Fashion for Conservation's debut of a campaign to save the Amazon rainforest at London Fashion Week in Covent Garden's Freemasons' Hall venue, February 18th 2018. Stay tuned! 

Connect with Elle L:

Instagram: @ellel__


5 Holiday Gifts for Fashion and Elephant Lovers

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If you're shopping for your last minute gifts this season, don't miss out on these 5! Gift your loved ones a fashion forward new year while contributing to a healthier, happier planet in 2018.

And if you're reading this closely...we would like to gift YOU with 10% off your entire purchase. Enter FASHIONFORWARD10 at checkout.

Your gift funds conservation; 30% of each sale supports the African Wildlife Foundation. Happy Holidays from your Fashion for Conservation family!

1. LOVE ME by NO VOICE. Elephantasia limited edition.

LOVE ME Crew Neck by NO VOICE (Organic Cotton)

NO VOICE X Elephantasia is originally designed and produced by artistic and romantic partners Oscar Abbots - international designer for brands like Roberto Cavalli, Josep Font, Adolfo Dominguez and currently Zara - and Riccardo Ceretti - artist and archeologist with an innate passion for fashion. They live between Italy and Spain where they "seduce all creative fields like music, film, architecture and art to reflect them in the wonderful world of fashion."

2. Fashion fighting for Conservation custom bracelet.

"Fashion Fighting for Conservation" bracelet hand engraved by Squirrel Vs. Coyote
from 34.00

Only 24 made. Available for custom printing! A little bit Renaissance a little bit rock and roll. Squirrel Vs. Coyote brings contemporary fashion with bold accessories for fearless champions of uniquity. Available for custom printing! Only 24 made. Available for custom printing! 

3. Elephant and monkey scarf. Elephantasia limited edition.

Elephant and monkey woven scarf by VISMAYA. Elephantasia Limited Edition
85.00 120.00

Vismaya hand weaves a variety of breathtaking shawls, scarves and wraps. This Elephantasia limited edition is hand made from 90% modal, 10% Cashmere, and non-toxic dies. Ever since its inception, Vismaya’s accessory collections have quickly become a renowned label across the globe. The brand offers seasonal collections of gorgeous accessories in vibrant colors, exquisite patterns, and sumptuous fabrics including silk, linen, wool, cotton, cashmere, modal and a variety of blends. The artwork depicted on this specific scarf is by Colette Miller, founder of the Global Angel Wings Project, founded first in the streets of LA. Colette paints angel wings that are human-sized, interactive public art, and she has since painted wings globally in Kenya, Australia, Taiwan, France, Cuba, Mexico, and many US states. 

4. Tusked silhouette jumpsuit and dress. Elephantasia limited edition.

*ORIGINAL* Elephantasia Jumpsuit by Rachel Allan

**This is a custom item, please send us your measurements with your order.
"We at Rachel Allan support Elephantasia because we want to help bring awareness to the many issues surrounding and effecting elephants, such as being poached for their ivory tusks or losing large amounts of their habitats due to human expansion."

*ORIGINAL* Elephantasia Jumpsuit by Rachel Allan

**This is a custom ordered item, please send us sizes with your purchase.
"We at Rachel Allan support Elephantasia because we want to help bring awareness to the many issues surrounding and effecting elephants, such as being poached for their ivory tusks or losing large amounts of their habitats due to human expansion."

5. Fashion for Conservation Membership. The gift that keeps giving!


Tax Deductible Welcome to the Wild Package:

  • Complimentary copy of Fashion for Conservation Magazine: full color luxury print publication designed and directed by the art director behind "100 Years of Vogue."
  • VIP Golden Ticket to Fashion for Conservation shows at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018 and New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019.
  • Limited edition elephant print gifted from South African/Kenyan wildlife photographer Chantelle Melzer valued at $280 US dollars.
  • Artisan crafted small-batch rose truffles from Seleušs Chocolates (US)
  • Invitation to exclusive member-only events and experiences upcoming in New York, Seattle, LA, London, Ibiza, Berlin and Cape town.
  • 100% of your donation goes to African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). 

Tax-deductible receipt matching your donation amount. 100% of your donation goes to African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). 

Become A Member



Saving the Peruvian Amazon with Designer Griela Perez (Spanish + English Interview)

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GRIELA PEREZ (One of twelve featured Peruvian designers in last year's  Runway to Save the Rainforest ).

GRIELA PEREZ (One of twelve featured Peruvian designers in last year's Runway to Save the Rainforest).



Griela Perez is a Peruvian fashion designer and owner of Las Polleras de Agus, one may ask what a pollera is. Well, a pollera is a one-piece skirt used mostly in traditional festivities and folklore throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America. 

Polleras are made from materials, such as cotton or wool and tend to have colorful decorations.  For the most part, the decorations are embroidered, flowers and regional animals are among the most common designs found in polleras.

During the Spanish colonization between 16th and 17th centuries, hacienda owners or hacendados enforced the indigenous population in the Andes to wear them.  Traditional polleras come from peasant dress from southern Spanish regions, like Andalusia.  Today, polleras are associated with indigenous and folkloric forms of dress.


Las Polleras de Agus is a mix of respect, passion and admiration for our cultural identity. We seek to reclaim our traditional garments which are being lost over time.  By incorporating them into contemporary fashion, we create a versatile line.

Produced through traditional weaving, embroidery, and stitching techniques, our pieces transport you to indigenous Andean Peru.  They are created by folk art weavers for people who long to reencounter the past and value one of man's great masterpieces - Pre-Columbian Civilization.” 




What are you doing now?

A. Trying to rescue an ancient art that is called the maquinasca, which is a Quechua word that means painting with threads (the art of embroidery). It is a sustainable fashion. 

Spanish: Tratando de rescatar un arte milenario que se llama la maquinasca palabra Quechua que significa pintar con hilos (el arte del bordado). Es una moda sostenible.

Q. Where do you live? 

A. I live in Cusco Peru.

Spanish: Vivo en e Cusco Perú.

Q. What first inspired your jungle themed line? Can people still buy it and if so Where can people buy it if they wanted to? What about the jungle inspires you? 

GRIELA PEREZ DESIGNS "Las Polleras de Agus"

GRIELA PEREZ DESIGNS "Las Polleras de Agus"

A. What inspired me was the history behind this art because at the beginning it was only the use of the clothes because they looked nice.  This was something that came to me because I wanted to put it on my daughter.  Then I started to know through the embroiderers that this art and others are being lost.  Obviously, that's when I fully commit myself to learning what lies behind this art.

Spanish: Lo que me inspiró es todo lo que hay detrás de este arte porque al inicio fué solamente el uso de las prendas porque se veían bonitas.  Esto era algo mío porque quería ponérselo a mi hija.  Después empecé a conocer por medio de los bordadores que se está perdiendo este arte y demás.  Obviamente, ahí es cuando me comprometo totalmente a aprender lo que hay atrás de este art.

Q. Do you still have that line on sale or are you designing something new? 

A. What we are doing is innovating because you know that when something is very repetitive it becomes massive and ours is super exclusive and we always try to create other things.

Spanish: Lo que estamos haciendo es innovar porque tú sabes que cuando algo es muy repetitivo viene a ser masivo y lo nuestro es super exclusivo y tratamos siempre de crear otras cosas.

Q. What is that thing that inspires from the jungle?

A. I love everything organic, everything that has movement and obviously the jungle is life and that's what inspires me. 

Spanish: A mí me encanta todo lo orgánico, todo lo que tiene movimiento y obviamente la selva es vida y es en eso en lo que me inspiro.

Q. Why is conservation important to your brand? 

A. It is very important because 1. We advocate to rescue a thousand-years old art that is being lost and 2. (Because we conserve) We make sustainable workshops that give work to the community.  We make their own community to develop.  Everywhere there is the theme of conservation and how to preserve this ancient art.  That way, we can help the embroiderers who live in the there because they are the ones who embroider our garments.  What we want is for them to grow and not have to go to the cities but to increase their own communities and contribute to sustainability.

Spanish: Es muy importante porque 1. nosotros nos advocamos en rescatar un arte milenario que se está perdiendo y 2. (porque conservar) hacemos talleres sostenibles que dan trabajo a la comunidad.  Hacemos que se desarrolle su propia comunidad.  Por todos lados hay el tema de la conservación y como conservar este arte milenario.  De esa manera, podemos ayudar a los bordadores que viven allí porque ellos son los que bordan nuestras prendas.  Lo que queremos es que crezcan y no tengan que salir a las ciudades sino que hagan crecer sus propias comunidades y contribuir a la sostenibilidad. 

Q. How is nature important to you personally from childhood, personal stories or memories you want to share here? 

A. Nature is important to me because we came from i. If we do not care, what future awaits us?

Spanish: La naturaleza es importante para mí porque de allí venimos.  Si nosotros no la cuidamos que futuro nos espera. 

Q. Do you have any anecdote from when you were a child or personal that you would like to share? 

A. I grew up in the Andes.  I am from Cusco by birth and it is definitely such a different life that nature gives you.  We are so far from all that is technology and modernity that it makes more human.  

I have the blessing to continue living here in a place where still five minutes away you find nature.  I love that my 3 year old daughter enjoys nature.  She has been my muse because this brand came out thanks to her when I put the first garment on he. 

Spanish: Yo crecí en los Andes.  Yo soy cusqueña de nacimiento y definitivamente es una vida tan distinta la que te brinda la naturaleza, tan alejada de todo lo que es tecnología y modernidad lo que te hace más humano.  

Tengo la bendición de seguir viviendo aquí en un lugar donde todavía a cinco minutos encuentras naturaleza.  Me encanta que mi hija de 3 años disfrutar tanto de la naturaleza.  Ella ha sido mi musa porque esta marca empezó gracias a ella cuando le puse la primera prenda. 

Q. What are you most excited about with your brand this coming season? 

A. We have gone little by little but the goal that we have always had since this project was created is to create an association so that the people who are really the participants and those who make your clothes can acquire many benefits like health, access to technology, etc..  Obviously, in these places you need to implement technology to be able to give them a tablet or computer so they can see the designs they are going to embroider.  For me, that has been a great achievement because we are already creating the association and this is one of the goals that the brand has.

In Peru a wave has been awakened that I think I have had a lot to do with because now it is a trend to wear polleras.  We have changed that western influence of using things that comes from outside (from abroad) and use what is ours.

Spanish: Hemos ido poco a poco pero la meta que hemos tenido siempre desde que se creo este proyecto es crear una asociación para que la gente que son realmente los partícipes y los que hacen tu ropa puedan adquirir muchos beneficios como salud, acceso a la tecnología, etc.  Obviamente, en estos lugares se necesita implantar la tecnología para poderles darle un tablet ó computadora para que puedan ver dan los diseños que van a bordar.  Para mí eso ha sido un gran logro porque ya estamos creando la asociación y esto es uno de las metas que tiene la marca. 

En Perú se ha despertado una ola que creo que yo he tenido mucho que ver porque ahora es tendencia el uso de las polleras.  Nosotros hemos cambiado esa influencia occidental de usar cosas que viene de afuera (del extranjero) y usar lo nuestro.


Q. What was your favourite moment about being a part of runway to Peru last year? 

A. The moment I entered the backstage and saw that there were other super interesting brands from Peru and see me there around people so important, because we just started, was the most beautiful experience to me.  Seeing what happens in the backstage is beautiful.  I remember when I came in and was a little scared, I said to myself "I can do this". 

This project is very exciting and I see it in the followers of Instagram and Facebook when we publish something there are lots os hearts. This is becoming a love brand and I think we are on track.

Spanish: El momento que entré al backstage y ví que habían otras marcas super interesantes de Perú y verme ahí alrededor de gente tan importante, porque nosotros recién empezábamos, ha sido la experiencia más linda.  Ver lo que pasa en el entre bastidores es hermoso. Me acuerdo de cuando entré y tenía un poco de miedo, y me díje "yo si puedo". 

Este proyecto es muy apasionante y lo veo en los seguidores de Instagram y Facebook cuando publicamos algo hay muchos corazones.  Esto se está convirtiendo en un love mark y creo que vamos en buen camino.

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Q. If fashion for Conservation were to do any theme in any place in the world what would you want them to do and where? (Something related to conservation of a place or species) 

A. I would love for them to be inspired by the Andes.  Fashion for Conservation has as much to give as the theme of the jungle but we also have the Andes, which are so cold and forgotten but it is so cute and has so much color.  When you travel to these little towns and you see that everything is so dry, cold and there is no vegetation but suddenly a person full of color appears it is as if life comes back to you.  

Spanish: Me encantaría que se inspiren en los Andes.  Fashion for Conservation tiene tanto que dar como el tema de la selva pero también tenemos los Andes que son tan fríos y olvidados pero es tan lindo y tiene tanto color.  Cuando viajas a estos pueblitos y ves que todo es tan seco, frío y no hay vegetación pero de pronto aparece una persona llena de color y es como te vuelve la vida. 




Fashion For Conservation's Behind the Scenes: The London Edition

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker

London was a whirlwind of fashion. The outfit changes, hair and makeup, the attention to detail. It was all build up to the Elephantasia line walking down the runway at the Fashion Scout venue. An ecofashion line within an industry that is primarily driven by money, Elephantasia represents a brighter future for the relationship between fashion and conservation. And the FFC team was in London for that representation.

In addition to the actual show day, the FFC team went to other venues, some with fresher jet lag than others. We witnessed the unique work of other designers with truly original vision.

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

The FFC team was still arriving in groups on various flights. The team that had arrived in London thus far made a cheers to the months of coordinating and planning and social media preparation prior to this trip.

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker   Pictured: Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Laura Choi (Campaign Director), Ronee Collins (Special Events Producer), Jason Pillay (Stylist), Kelly Zwicker (Lead Blogger), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Pictured: Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Laura Choi (Campaign Director), Ronee Collins (Special Events Producer), Jason Pillay (Stylist), Kelly Zwicker (Lead Blogger), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

We have such a diverse team of creative individuals, from different cities and backgrounds. We all have our individual creative strengths. Coming together in London was a special treat for us to celebrate what FFC has accomplished so far. 

The day of the show was, of course, ten million things happening at once. It was a rush. As FFC's blogger I captured the moments going up to the show, and the Fashion Scout venue was lovely. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

We started the show with a musical performance by guest musician Anthar Kharana, setting a specific mood for the audience. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker   Pictured: Anthar Kharana 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Pictured: Anthar Kharana 

As for the show's runway pictures, a full recap of the entire line can be found on the Fashion For Conservation blog, however, here are some of my snapshots captured at the venue. 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker 

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Photography: Kelly Zwicker  Pictured: Nazy Alvarez (Creative Director), Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Anthar Kharana (Guest Musician), Samantha Zwicker (Conservation Director)

Photography: Kelly Zwicker

Pictured: Nazy Alvarez (Creative Director), Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Anthar Kharana (Guest Musician), Samantha Zwicker (Conservation Director)

London Fashion Week was a great experience for the FFC team, and it is the one of many events we will promote not just fashion, but conservation as well, and it's future in this amazing industry. 

FFC Headshot.jpg


Kelly is a lifestyle blogger based out of Seattle, Washington. She has her own website She currently blogs her personal style, travel adventures, and health tips. Being a former collegiate tennis player and public health major, Kelly loves to get involved with a variety of collaborations, not excluding her lead blogger role with Fashion for Conservation. She utilizes her passions for photography and writing for her freelance work and creative drive.

Elephantasia London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018

Kelly Zwicker




"Re:ne(w) by René Garza is founded on the concept that resource sustainability is the responsibility of every individual - being conscious of both our actions and their impact. The Elephantasia Campaign aligns beautifully with our mission, as the conservation of animals is fundamental to the preservation of our planet." - Rene Garza (read bio here)



"We want to help bring awareness to the many issues surrounding and effecting elephants, such as being poached for their ivory tusks or losing large amounts of their habitats due to human expansion". - Rachel Allen


DRESS: RACHEL ALLEN (read bio here)
PINEAPPLE BAGS: C. NICOLE (read bio here)

Having visited Africa and India with my children and experienced elephants in freedom and captivity, this project is very close to my heart. To imagine a world for our children and grandchildren without elephants that are essentially legend is indeed sad." - C. Nicole


JUMPSUIT: RACHEL ALLEN (read bio here)




"Strong, gentle, elegant, graceful, and beautiful. Words thxcat describe elephants are synonymous with our label. We take inspiration from their kindness and wisdom to produce sustainable fashion for a world we must share with these magnificent animals and the natural world." -Gabriela Rose (read bio here).



"Elephants are sacred animals. When I arrived to United States from Belarus in 1994, I brought only one suitcase. One of the things inside was a natural stone elephant that I always believed was sacred and would protect me as long as I carried it. According to Buddhists, white elephants carry special significance. As a long time Rotarian, educator and fashion designer, I truly believe in doing things for a good cause. I believe it is our responsibility to spread the important message across the globe, how crucial it is to save elephants from killing." - Tatiana Shabelnik (read bio here)


"Elephant conservation is important to KROMAGNON because our brand is all about sustainability and preserving the environment. Elephants are an important part of nature and our ecosystem and must be protected." - Kristen Luong (read bio here)



"The brutal killing of these proud, majestic, and intelligent creatures on its own is enough to make this an important cause for me. To think about the reality that elephants could become extinct in my lifetime is crushing." - Melissa Hillas



"Dawnamatrix is inspired by the strength, boldness, and fragility of the natural world and presents an option for living boldly with sustainable haute couture.  Elephantasia has provided the platform to make a difference for these animals by raising awareness in a critical time. By respecting our shared past with the elephant, we ensure their future survival." - Dawna Mosto (read bio here)



"I saw some elephants at close proximity in Krugar national park last year, I enjoyed them. I'd like my grand children to have the same opportunity." - Amin Phillips (read bio here)



"It is important that we help to preserve this species, not only just for animal lovers but for cultural and environmental purposes. 'Human kind has not woven the web of life, We are but one thread within it, Whatever we do to the web, We do to ourselves, All things are bound together, All things connect.' The elephant is an extremely peaceful and intelligent creature and I am very proud to be apart of this process." - Kim Stevenson (read bio here)



"As a designer it is deeply fulfilling to be a part of Elephantasia, a project that gives us all the opportunity to actively make a positive impact in the conservation of our beautiful planet." - Talia Baker (read bio here)



"ANNAFORA designed The Empire jumpsuit, inspired by the grandeur of the elephant. This look aims to capture the robust textures and shape portrayed by an elephant´s body in a manner that regards the animal as a royal and powerful, as interpreted by the Asian and African societies who lived in close quarters with them." - Anna Fora (read bio here)


AUTONOMOUS (read bio here)



"It is very important that the number of people who adhere to conscious consumption increases in the world. Participating in this project is an opportunity to show that you can create beautiful clothes without sacrificing a fashion sense. This projects unite like-minded people and make us think about true values." - Free Mind (read bio here)


FREE MIND (read bio here)



"A world where Elephants can populate creates a balanced world for all living things. Once the human ego is ripped away we realize all creatures need each other. We are not one without the other." - Meredith Allen Kelly (read bio here)



"An elephant running, beautiful, wild, and free...I am really impressed by fashion used for the protection of elephants and all animals. It's admirable." - Alfonso Sanco (read bio here)



"We must live and let live the vast array of creatures that inhabit this beautiful green planet. Together, even the smallest of changes can make a big difference to endangered species. Awareness is step one in a continuous effort to save majestic beasts like the elephant." - Jamie Von Stratton (read bio here)


RENE GARZA (read bio here)



"Today, it is not enough to just create pretty campaigns and collections. As advocates of the arts, we have the responsibility to use the power of fashion branding and media to spread important messages. Today our message is to protect one of the most beautiful animals in the world- elephants which are crucial to the health of our global ecosystem and survival of our planet."  - Nazy Alvarez, Creative Director

FFC Elephantasia Welcome GraphicV1.jpg





Rachel Hester

We are excited to share this new interview with the founding team of FFC, conducted by our LFW SS18 venue partner for Elephantasia, Fashion Scout London.

" Activist fashion design group Fashion For Conservation present Elephantasia, a unique group that combines rights and conservation for animals with the fashion industry. Elephantasia creates unique couture interpretations of the elephant, bringing awareness to our LFW audience on the extremity of the poaching crisis. 

With the heartbreaking fact that 96 elephants are killed each day for their ivory, FFC wants to send vital messages to  Fashion Scout attendees about how important individual consumer choices matter to our world. We are intrigued by the concepts behind Elephantasia, and wanted to have a chat with the FFC team to find out more about their unique, artistic conservational project. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 10.36.47 PM.png


Elephantasia showcases 24 designers from 24 unique countries around the globe. Each have their own history of why they became a designer and what inspired them to be a part of this campaign. Find out here.  

As for how design became a part of our mission here at Fashion for Conservation (FFC), we suppose it was the world from which “one and a half” of our founders come…Nazanine Afshar is a creative director for major publications such as Vogue, Italian Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Allure; Samantha Zwicker is a wildlife conservationist and executive director at the Peruvian Amazon based non-profit Hoja Nueva; and finally Ava J. Holmes, connecting both industries as a former producer for fashion weeks worldwide, wildlife enthusiast and current reality TV show wilderness survivalist with Discovery Channel.


"Today, it is not enough to just create pretty fashion campaigns and couture collections. As advocates of the arts, we have the responsibility to use the power of fashion branding and the available media outlets to spread important messages and to promote causes around the world that have a direct effect on the future of our planet!

Today, our message is preservation and protection of one of the most beautiful animals in the world: the majestic and beautiful elephant! Why? Because they are crucial to the health of our global ecosystem and the survival of our planet. 

On behalf of all my colleagues at the FFC, I wish to express how delighted we are to be present at London Fashion Week 2017." - Nazanine Afshar, Creative Director and Co-Founder



Yes. The industry is always changing it’s just that we now have to be more careful than ever as to how we allow change to happen. We see retail giants adopting fast fashion more and more into our culture which is not only wiping out the support for independent designers but wiping out entire species of wildlife on earth. Today, according to the IUCN REDLIST “nearly one-third of species are globally threatened or extinct.” Fashion is largely to blame. That is why we are here to help steer the industry towards being a part of the solution to its own problem. As participants—if you wear clothes at all—this is in fact all of our problem. 


It’s a hub of people passionate about innovation, a perfect petri dish for what we are trying to do here bridging the gap (or perhaps in a new way “minding” the gap) between fashion and each of our responsibility today to protect wildlife and the environment.  



“A world where every designer, every creative, and every creature like you and I that get to walk on this planet actually look out for each-other. The time to invest in the conservation of our shared home on earth—with our collective talent and individual fashion choice (buying from brands that also invest in conservation and sustainability)—is now. The urgency of conserving the earth now goes beyond cultural and wildlife preservation. Its basic human survival."  - Ava, Executive Producer and Co-Founder

FFC Elephantasia’s emphasis on encouraging ethical tourism and entertainment is only a small fraction of why they are working closely to make changes to the fashion industry; which has a direct impact on our planets future. Fast fashion is proving to be wiping out endangered species, minimalizing the beauty and culture we get to share globally. 

Elephants, being one of the most ancient animals to live, and being a huge part of African and Asian culture, it is crucial to share the growing importance of sustainability and using alternatives that save the world. 

Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins & Amber Whitaker 

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 1.03.32 AM.png

Stylist Feature: The Brand and Career of Lisa Vann

Rachel Hester

By Kelly Zwicker  

This week we recognize a dedicated and essential contributor to the Fashion for Conservation team, Lisa Vann. Lisa originally joined Seattle's Marketplace Salon in 1987, and she's been a staple in Seattle's hair and beauty community ever since. For almost 30 years, Lisa has been developing her brand and constantly collaborating with other talented artists. 

Vann Edge, located on 1st avenue in Downtown Seattle, is currently directed by Lisa, being one of Aveda's key educators. Aveda is an environmentally conscious hair and skincare brand that is based on the concept of holistic beauty. When asked about the quality and integrity of Aveda as a brand, Lisa touched on how the production and sourcing of ingredients set a high professional standard in the industry. "Aveda uses natural organic pure plant and flower ingredients in the product" she says, "maximizing performance and carrying an amazing aroma."

Lisa has built a strong client base, and has even travelled the world as an Aveda educator and international editorial stylist. Lisa is dedicated to supporting both domestic and International fashion weeks. She also attends "Style Night" with local Seattle lifestyle magazine Ville Magazine, gains recognition through Northwest hairstyling awards, and organizes and orchestrates tutorials for upcoming generations of hairstylists across the U.S and Canada. She continues to collaborate with hair industry and fashion magazines, industry trade shows, and additional local industry leads that come her way. 

Designer: Shriti Pratap  Stylist: Lisa Vann  Photographer: James Cheng

Designer: Shriti Pratap

Stylist: Lisa Vann

Photographer: James Cheng

Stylist: Lisa Vann  Photographer: James Cheng

Stylist: Lisa Vann

Photographer: James Cheng

Designer: Shriti Pratap  Stylist: Lisa Vann  Photographer: James Cheng

Designer: Shriti Pratap

Stylist: Lisa Vann

Photographer: James Cheng

Lisa is very proud of her role and direction with Vann Edge Salon, which she is known for in the downtown Seattle community. The salon's energy and quality customer service keeps her inspired. "We are extremely fashion focused in what we do with our guests" she says.  The salon's mantra is "Every Guest Every time." Vann Edge, being a small avante-garde salon, upholds a sense of fashion forwardness that the Vann Edge team is happy to have their guests experience. Vann Edge consistently hosts and collaborates with editorial shoots for Seattle Fashion Week.

When asked about her Spring and Summer projects, Lisa is elated to see the presence of textured hair down the runway. Lisa comments on how women walking down the runway will have their natural hair featured, and even exaggerated and heightened with products such as Aveda's Texture Tonic.

As far as her longterm partnership with Fashion for Conservation (FFC) and its Elephantasia campaign, it all started with a meeting between Lisa and FFC founder Ava Holmes, in a small coffee shop just to brainstorm ideas. The concept of merging fashion and conservation was initially appealing to Lisa. "Philanthropy through the arts has always been something I love to engage in" she says, "especially if it's to protect these majestic creatures. I am a cause and effect women, I love to see change." Lisa has been drawn to the creative energy of the FFC team ever since. 

Given that Elephantasia will feature in London Fashion Week, Lisa has her vision for fashion and conservation in the future. "My vision would be that this is a platform to continue to bring awareness to my industry"  Lisa claims, "So much of the fashion industry is based off labels and profit, whereas Elephantasia could be the face of sustainability within the industry."

Lisa feels a certain responsibility within the fashion community to promote not only her team and Aveda's products, but the cause for conservation as a greater picture. She wants to stand for conservation through her efforts within the industry, because sustainable fashion could have an amazing future. The more that hairstylists, designers, models, and any individuals in this industry get involved and promote this branch of fashion, the more opportunity it has to succeed. 

We look forward to upcoming projects with Lisa Vann and so many other individuals to make Fashion For Conservation prosper within the Fashion world, and continue spreading crucial awareness. 

Lisa Vann:


Vann Edge Salon: