Neonyt January 2019: New Ethical Style Highlights

A Neonyt day well spent brings a year of cóntent: the highlights of ethical style and the Berlin way to do fashion.

Neonyt January 2019 Review

Gathering sustainable fashion players and innovators — like those known to loyal BEAUTYCALYPSE readers: Nae Vegan Shoes, Lanius, nat-2, Jungle Folk, LanaMelawear, Coccoon, Umiwi, Wild Fawn to name a few — the newly rebranded trade show Neonyt is a must-see for any ethical fashion journalist or blogger.

Berlin & Fashion: A Green Playground

Neonyt is one of the whopping seven fashion trade fairs that take place during Berlin Fashion Week, in addition to the IMG Fashion Week shows and several top notch satellite events.

At the same time, it’s this sustainable fashion fair exactly, or, more precisely, its two predecessors, the Ethical Fashion Show and the Green Showroom, that has helped define Berlin as a fashion hub for the green-minded crowd — nowhere else do ethical brands gather in this quality and quantity. You’ll also find sustainable brands at Xoom by Innatex, while some ethical companies prefer Seek (denim and streetwear focus) or Premium (a mix of lingerie, beauty, upscale and streetwear).

If you, like me, have been around Berlin Fashion Week since its start in 2007, you’ll remember how Berlin struggled with its fashion identity and its place within the fashion industry in the past — it’s hard to compete with the elegance of Paris, the splendour of Milan, the glam of New York or the punk-in-the-city attitude of the London Fashion Week —, so focussing on sustainability is an excellent development.

Neonyt January 2019
A Selection Of
Ethical Fashion Highlighs

Humour.Noir: Designer Anke and founder Jennifer are sporting different styles of the Glory satchel; sales manager Jana with the metallic silver Vibe pouch.
Humour.Noir: Designer Anke and founder Jennifer are sporting different styles of the Glory satchel; sales manager Jana chose the metallic silver Vibe pouch.

A brand I discovered through Instagram and couldn’t wait to see in person was the new accessory label Humour.Noir — a completely eco-friendly (no PVC), vegan-friendly, and urban fashionista-friendly collection of drop dead gorgeous bags.
Some even with Murano glass handles. What?

The pieces are made in an Italian traditional manufacture, the Murano glass elements come from, well, Murano, and the very choice of fabric is absolutely fantastic. And why rely on just one?
With Piñatex, organic cotton, apple mark and recycled paper based fabric and canvas as well as cork and due to the clever choice of colours, patterns, embossing and combinations of them, the bags look and feel perfecly luxurious.

Some models come with interchangeable straps or chains; and — a nice detail — the jade green lining makes it easy to find your possessions.

Is it just me or is there a strong “shut up and take my money” vibe? It’s not just me, amirite? 😉

Kai and Marisa, By Maqu.
Kai and Marisa, By Maqu. Marisa is wearing a beautifully textured black dress.

The part-German, part Peruvian brand Maqu have shown for the first time in Berlin: the new company takes it slow, building some decent following first, establishing their own showroom/ boutique in Berlin-Friedrichshain…

It’s been nice to see the collections evolve over time starting with the initial “green project” collection in late 2016; the pieces are wearable and yet quite unique style-wise. Fun fact: “Maqu” is the nickname of the designer Marisa Fuentes Prado.

If you, like me, love vibrant colours and statement pieces, check out Umiwi, another Berlin-based brand. Their eco-friendly and ethical jewels made of mango wood, glass and recycled gold and silver won’t go unnoticed. The brand name reads “you – me – we”, which is also the young company’s mission statement: ethical business on eye level, the “you first” approach. Beautiful!

Umiwi: recycled gold and silver jewellery, mango wood cuffs with new colours and finishes.
Umiwi: recycled gold and silver jewellery, mango wood cuffs in a range of new colours and finishes.
Mila.Vert designer Tina Logar Bauchmüller.
Mila.Vert designer Tina Logar Bauchmüller.

Not new at the trade fair or here on BEAUTYCALYPSE, but since I’ve been watching this brand and actually mentioning it in a few trend round-ups, Mila.Vert collections — while elegant and modern, no doubt! — have been too minimal in colour for my own use.

However, the colours, patterns and textures the young Slovenia-born brand started introducing since last summer are more up my alley.

Understated and minimalistic, albeit not lacking a keen eye for detail, the pieces win you over with beautiful fabric choices and elegant cuts that are fit for a wordrobe of a top executive.

A particular highlight are the brand’s sophisticated organic cotton knits — if you’re vegan or have a wool sensitivity, check out Mila Vert: they offer fantastic knitted styles each season.

Anna (Lana) and Nath (Beautycalypse).
Fair fashionable: Maria (Lana designer) and Nath (Beautycalypse founder).

BEAUTYCALYPSE readers will remember Lana from the guide to building a summer capsule wardrobe (and creating 40+ outfits from 11 items).

Lana’s winter 19/20 caught my eye with colourful and feminine styles — flattering long dresses, asymmetrical skirts, statement patterns and splashes of bright yellow and coral red agains more subdued cool purples and pinks or warmer browns, tans, and blues.

Checks, stripes, florals lead a fun dance here but never look too girly. Upbeat, but not naive.

If you’re looking for office outfits, fun and bold yet wearable statement pieces and laid-back cosy styles, have a look at Lana.

While I've spotted quite some personal favourites among the non-exhibiting ethical brands and while I'm sure that there is solid reasoning behind this particular brand selection (for example, Buki Akomolafe, Hellmuth, Natascha von Hirschhausen, Sepideh Ahadi and Working Title are five out of ten Fashion Council Germany young designer mentoring programme finalists), I found that this decision didn't sit particuarly well with all exhibitors...
BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 15: A female model (R), wearing a dress by Cocccon, a top by Ivanman, scarf, glasses and gloves by Vintage, tights by Wolford and shoes by Trippen, and a male model, wearing a jacket and jeans by Fade Out, a shirt by After March, glasses by Vintage and shoes by Trippen, walk the runway at the NEONYT show during the Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019 at ewerk on January 15, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Zacharie Scheurer/ Getty Images for NEONYT)

Finally, the fashion show tonight had a very editorial approach to styling and featured the Who’s who of sustainable and slow fashion brands: After March, Alama, Alexandra Svendsen, Alina Schuerfeld, Another View, Antonia Zander, Arkitaip, Brachmann, Bridge & Tunnel, Buki Akomolafe, Chain, Cocccon, Continew, Dedicated, Ecoalf, Edelziege, Emerenz, Fade Out, Frieda Sand, Graciela Huam, Hellmuth, Hessnatur, Humour Noir, Ivanman, Jeckybeng x Sea Shepherd, Kuniri, LangerChen, Lanius, Lovjoi, Mies Nobis, Mori Collective, Natascha von Hirschhausen, Nine to Five, Noah, Norwegian Rain, Nudo, Nuuwai, Philomena Zanetti, Phyne, Rhumaa, Sandermann, Sepideh Ahadi, Sophia Schneider-Esleben, Spatz Hutdesign, Superconductor by Sonja Tafelmeier Couture, Swedish Stockings, Tauko, Teekri, Trippen, Unravelau, Velt, Velvet Novel, Vladimir Karaleev x After March, WE.RE, Wolford, Working Title, Wunderwerk, Yuna Miray, Zylo Eyewear.

Interestingly, the show featured not all Neonyt exhibitors and not only Neonyt exhibitors — the exhibitors are highlighted in bold. And while I’ve spotted some personal favourites among the non-exhibiting ethical brands — such as Antonia Zander, Lovjoi, Alina Schuerfeld, Wolford, Norwegian Rain — and am sure that there’s a solid reasoning behind this particular brand selection (for example, Buki Akomolafe, Hellmuth, Natascha von Hirschhausen, Sepideh Ahadi and Working Title are five out of ten Fashion Council Germany young designer mentoring programme finalists), I was not surprised to hear that this decision didn’t sit particuarly well with all exhibitors.

Check back soon for the special highlights of the Premium and Panorama trade shows.

Photography: © Nath Fedorova (except the catwalk image; used with permission).

About Nath @ BEAUTYCALYPSE

Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at BEAUTYCALYPSE.com (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)