New York Fashion Week: IFAW's Tails For Whales Launch (Video)

Evelina Zdunczyk Founder of Vegan Queen on her Fall 2009 line and Tails for Whales partnership.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare's (IFAW) Tails for Whales campaign celebrated New York Fashion Week with two parties, one at Vegan Queen's Heartless Valentine's Cocktail Reception at NYC's LEED certified nightclub Greenhouse, and another with POPbeauty and Fashion Indie on Friday.

Vegan Queen is an eco-luxurious brand of handbags from model Evelina Zdunczyk (Karl Lagerfeld, Russell Simmons and Global Green USA are all fans) who has recently partnered with IFAW's Tails for Whales, a visual petition for the protection of whales threatened by commercial whaling, ship strikes, fishing gear, ocean noise, and climate change. The hope is that, by aligning the launch with New York Fashion week and the Vegan Queen fashion show, IFAW will draw awareness by snapping diverse photographs from fashionistas to celebrities all doing the "whale tail." Read on to hear from Beth Allgood, IFAW's Program Manager on the goals of the Tails for Whales campaign, challenges facing whale protection, and of course, some eco-fashionable hand bags (with video clips from the Vegan Queen runway).


Vegan Queen Model does the "whale tail" at Greenhouse. Credit: Hal Horowitz

Vegan Queen Runway, model with the Diamond Bag

On the heels of the Ship Strike Reduction Rule--which calls for ships greater than 65 feet in length to reduce their speed to 10 knots within 20 nautical miles of key ports along the U.S. East coast--IFAW wants to keep the momentum going with Tails for Whales. IFAW's Beth Allgood said,

We want to show big grassroots support so that we can show President Obama and the new Congress that people really care. We are just really launching the U.S. part today. We went to one event in D.C. The Green Festival and we had overwhelming participation. Everybody who walked by wanted to get their picture taken.

She also stressed the importance of involvement on every level: "There is the celebrity aspect, the professional photographer aspect, but the biggest reason for this campaign is to show that people care about this issue and the way people can show that is by taking their picture." The photographs being used in a mosaic and will eventually be compiled into a book given to Congress and President Obama.


Vegan Queen Evelina does the "whale tail" with her canvas eco-tote, Credit: Hal Horowitz

Vegan Queen Runway, Models carrying "The Queen Goes Green" canvas eco-tote in the VQ signature diamond shape.

While it all sounds good and great IFAW does face obstacles beyond the obvious budget. "In terms of the legislation, there's a lot going on in the world right now and whales are not at the top of anybodies agenda while we're facing economic issues, Iraq, and everything else. Our government has to address really important issues," Beth says. Over the next year Beth hopes to establish both grassroots and legislative support for the initiative and have a good whale protection bill signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

So what can you do? Get involved by taking your picture and sending it to Tails for Whales.

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