Lexus and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), collaborated to celebrate and support sustainable fashion design by establishing the Eco Fashion Challenge. The inaugural event was held this week at Skylight Studio West.

From the ten finalists, three designers were selected to receive support from Lexus for their Fall 2011 show or presentation in February 2011. The winners were Monique Paen, Costello Tagliapietra and Maria Cornejo. The other designers were also in attendance including the always beautiful Behnaz Sarafpour, Marcia Patmos and John Patrick creator of “Organic.”

Green is big currently and these designers had to make a specific dedication to the cause. To qualify as a finalist, each designer had to demonstrate a commitment to ecologically responsible design and production practices, with a minimum of  25% of their collection being produced in an environmentally friendly manner. If anyone out there is a designer or has designed they know that commitment is a real one.

In attendance were other designers and folks from the fashion industry including individuals from Polo Ralph Lauren.

Lexus’ co-branding of this event is a really great collaboration. Lexus has five luxury hybrid vehicles.  I had a great time listening to  Andrea Lim, Lexus’ events marketing manager, talk about the relationship. “It is an honor to work with the CFDA to extend that commitment by helping to inspire sustainable design within the fashion industry.” said Lim. co-founder Scott Hahn and Executive Director of the CFDA, Steven Kolb, joined Lim on stage to announce the winners.

I’ve always been a fan of Skylight West, ever since I attended a K-Swiss presentation in the space summer of ’09. The space was set up very nicely with a lounge area hosting furniture by Red Hook sustainable furniture brand UHURU.  My only issue was the food and drink or lack thereof. I want to be able to mingle and chat with folks while I am at an event, If myself and others are waiting 20 minutes plus for a drink that does not allow me to do that and if I see one more person diving for food I am going to go off.

I was assuaged by the gallery style displays of each of the finalists work as well as the CT Umbra, an artistic representation of Lexus’ new premium compact hybrid, the CT 200h.

All in all it was a pleasurable event and I managed to have a number of enjoyable conversations. The night was capped off when, on exiting the event, I was given a cute reusable gift bag , filled with chocolate and organic body/skin care products by EO, by Andrea Lim herself, who by the way is a really sweet and approachable woman.

– Melissa Davis

Check out the photo slide show and more on Flickr.