Gregory, Rogan


Gregory, Rogan
▪ 2006

      In 2005 New York-based designer Rogan Gregory successfully merged the concept of cutting-edge fashion with social responsibility via the high-profile spring launch of a line called Edun. His casual clothing collection was produced from organic materials in conjunction with the Dublin-based political activist husband-and-wife duo Paul Hewson (U2 lead singer Bono) and Ali Hewson. The line was sold primarily in the U.S. at Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. Gregory's goal for Edun was twofold—to make a commercial profit and to create sustainable employment in less-developed countries. Rather than working with a Third World operation that could make items at the lowest-possible price point, Edun outsourced production to factories where work was most needed. Edun's founders hoped that their clothing would set a new precedent in the fashion industry by creating a solid foundation for new garment-manufacturing businesses to thrive in such underdeveloped economic zones as Tunisia and Peru, where the Edun collection was produced from untreated cotton as well as dyes made from coffee, blue corn, and gardenia blossoms.

      Gregory was born on Sept. 17, 1972, in Denver, Colo. He arrived in New York in 1994 and worked initially in design development for fashion labels Calvin Klein and Daryl K. He became well known for independently producing an eponymous sharply tailored denim label, which launched in 2001 amid a post-new-millennium craze for relaxed apparel that ensured its success, along with sweatshirt dressing produced by Los Angeles fashion labels Juicy Couture and American Apparel. Gregory parlayed some of the profits of his denim label into the launch of Loomstate—an urban-cool clothing brand made from certified organic cotton. Gregory forged a partnership with Ali Hewson after she viewed prototypes of his Loomstate line before its 2004 retail debut; she was impressed by the line's contemporary look and Gregory's guiding business ethic. Their brand name, Edun, was the inverse of Nude, the label of a Dublin chain of organic restaurants in which the Hewsons had invested.

      In 2005 American Vogue featured Edun in a nine-page story in its issue for March, a month normally reserved for showcasing work produced by the magazine's biggest advertisers. Meanwhile, Gregory's business continued to thrive with the September launch of A Litl Betr, a handmade collection of dressy men's clothing, and his completion of prototypes for the January 2006 unveiling of an all-natural furniture collection. Gregory attributed his success to a design process based on “trial, error, and discovery.”

Bronwyn Cosgrave

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Universalium. 2010.

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