When Le first started Annie + Jade, the realm of eco-fashion was hardly fashion but consisted of mostly yoga wear and other basics. The contemporary designer was always on the lookout for more modern or designer looks, but the industry always came up short. Thus began Annie + Jade. The sportswear collection is designed for the eco-intelligent, modern woman through pieces constructed of natural, organic, recycled, and fair-trade materials.

Le built Annie + Jade rather organically starting out with dresses and evolving it into a more cohesive and complete sportswear collection. Although her inspiration for each collection varies, she has a particularly unique approach. Le does trend research, i.e. people watching, and then focuses all of that into a singular subject for a collection. Case in point? The Fall/Winter 2013 collection was inspired by a tuxedo.

The designer admits that being eco is a difficult, particularly when it comes to availability of fabrics, pricing, and changing the present consumer mindset about what is eco. “When you are an eco-designer, you are not just competing with other eco-designers, you are competing with everyone in your category. You have to constantly find new ways to keep costs down while using new eco-fabrics that are not readily available and producing domestically.”

When asked about the future of Annie + Jade, her ambitions are high. Rather than simply bridging the gap between fashion and eco-fashion, Le hopes Annie + Jade will become global eco-brand ambassadors. Womenswear is hardly the limi, either Le hopes to add new facets to the brand like plus size womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, maternity, accessories, handbags, and shoes. The tough job is happily accepted as Le has never backed down from a challenge, especially one she is this passionate about.

+ Annie + Jade