yeohleeforeverYou might have thought this zero-waste fashion thing was new. But then  you don’t know Yeohlee.

The luxury designer Yeohlee Teng is one of the biggest advocates for saving the Garment District, even going so far as to relocate her store there for three years, hoping to attract other retailers to Fashion Avenue. (Disappointingly, the gambit didn’t work, and last year she moved her store to NoMad, below the Ace Hotel, joining stores like Kitsuné and Opening Ceremony.)

Yeohlee tries to design as sustainably as possible, producing sophisticated, urbane looks using a minimum of high-quality fabric.

When she invited me into her store, where she designs her collection, she showed me a completely zero-waste skirt, with the selvedge edge left on the bottom. “It’s the core ethos and philosophy of what I do,” she says of minimizing waste.

And the Malaysian-born designer has been doing this since the 80s. Her items, which demonstrate economic yet masterful design, are housed in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Met, and The Museum at FIT.

In other words, if you have an interest in learning about sustainable fashion, Yeohlee should be part of your curriculum.

I had the opportunity to attend her fashion show showcasing the Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection, which includes six zero-waste looks out of the sixteen.

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A zero waste jacket has a classic look

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A reversible coat after being reversed

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The reversible coat walks down the runway

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This simple, elegant dress was a favorite of mine.

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Yeohlee posing with her models (who represent a range of skintones, a rarity for Fashion Week)

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