I've been a LaLesso obsessive since my days trawling through ethical shopping sites looking for chic, sustainable style at Sublime Magazine, when I first discovered Lalesso's beautiful collections of floaty, yet fashion forward, Kenyan inspired beachwear. Ethical ethnic - my kind of label.
After falling in love with the vivid hues and eye-popping prints of the traditional Kanga fabric of Kenya, designers Alice Heusser and Olivia Kennaway founded Lalesso back in 2007 as a fashion forward ethical brand that not only produces perfect summertime threads but enrolls the help of some of Kenya's poorest, yet undisputedly able artisans and craftspeople.
Recruiting beach boys and Masai tribesmen to hand carve beads and buttons from coconut shells, 5 years on and they're still up to the same tricks, but this year they're turning fashions heads with a neo-Afrian chic.
The SS'2012 collection, aptly titled 'The Neo African JPEG Generation' works in the usual bold Kanga inspired digital prints and warming brights into its capsule collection of effortlessly worn shrugs, kaftans, hot pants and maxi dresses, all with a dose of fluorescent detailing. And to top things off, this season the Lalesso girls have teamed up with jewellery designer Jennifer Kinnear whose collaborative collection, designed specially for Lalesso, combines recycled brass, bone, horn, wood, fabric offcuts and of course, that essential dose of neon.
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