by Ali Berman
Categories: Fashion, Vegan
Tags: .
Photo: Gary Ploski, Farm Sanctuary

Vaute Couture’s groundbreaking vegan fashion show during fashion week certainly got the world’s attention. Headlining on CNN’s website and making the rounds at other major news organizations, for a few shining days, vegan fashion was at the tip of everyone’s tongue. Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart, the mind behind Vaute Couture, showed fashionistas across the globe that no animal need be harmed to look great.

It’s no wonder why Farm Sanctuary, one of the country’s best known and loved farm animal advocacy organizations and sanctuaries, honored the pioneering president and creative director at their event Fashion Loves Animals, an encore of the fashion show that introduced Vaute Couture to millions.

We were lucky enough to attend the event on Saturday night and view the beautiful and whimsical designs in person. But Leanne’s creations weren’t the only beautiful things on display. The hors d’oeuvres by Jay Astafa were delectable, my favorites being the crostini with mint-sorrel pesto and green peas and the tofu “crab” cakes. And the desserts by Fran Costigan were also to die for, most notably her pistachio creams and the chocolate truffles. Rosi Golan, with her enchanting voice, performed at the end of the evening as a perfect cap to a perfect night.

The event was designed to raise funds for Farm Sanctuary’s life-saving work. Gene Baur, co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, spoke after the show about the importance of vegan fashion and how it saves the lives of animals like the ones who are lucky enough to end up at the sanctuary.

Leanne said about visiting Farm Sanctuary, “Not only do you get to spend time with them [the animals], but they get to live their lives out in this beautiful beautiful place and when you leave there, you leave knowing that those animals have been rescued and that if you make that choice too, not to eat or wear animals, you can be contributing to a more peaceful compassionate future also.”


About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →