All The Rage

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Eco-friendly accessories at the Class trade show

September 3, 2010 |  7:30 am

Trade shows can often be an overwhelming blur of hundreds of clothing lines housed under bad fluorescent lighting, but I always love heading over to the Class trade show at the Santa Monica Convention Center for its smaller, more manageable setup and the dozens of talented young designers who show their lines there.

I came across some great new lines Thursday morning, many of them eco-friendly and actually really cute. No burlap and bird graphics here.

A line called Industry of All Nations is a Culver City-based company that makes canvas upper espadrilles that have a TOMS shoes feel, but with a summery rope sole. They come as oxfords, slip-ons and even high-top booties, but the most interesting thing about this company –- run by a team of brothers originally from Argentina –- is its line of board shorts. The basic men’s board shorts (they come in just black or white) are made from recycled plastic bottles. The shorts hit mid-thigh and there are cool wood button details on the back pocket, so non-grom surfers and swimmers can wear shorts that look more age Class appropriate.

G.A.Y Sandals (the initials of designer Gabrielle Alexandra Yacoob) have soles made entirely from recycled rubber tires. The design of these shoes reminds me of my beloved Bass “Sharon” sandals, but with modern updates such as silver studs and ankle tie wraps and all are made by local craftspeople in Lima, Peru.

Alkemie is a line of jewelry designed by husband-and-wife duo and Topanga Canyon residents Ashley Lowengrub and Dana Gerson. They use reclaimed metals to manufacture their nature-inspired pieces, such as a cuff cast from a leaf that fell in their driveway or a bold octopus bracelet that would surely make for an interesting conversation starter. The result of the metals blended to make the Alkemie line has a patina that’s not quite gold, not quite bronze, but definitely intriguing and above all, good for the environment.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: From left, Industry of All Nations oxford espadrilles $35/Industry of All Nations; Alkemie octopus cuff $190/Alkemie; G.A.Y. sandals $59/G.A.Y.