Shop with a Purpose: Shop Repurpose

By Alex Muniz 

Fall is here, and this year, it’s ALL about shopping ethically. Jump into the Fall season with one of Repurpose Wardrobe’s sponsored brands: KES.          

Hailing from Kibbutz Afikim, Lia Kes designed KES™️ based on the practical, down-to-earth garments she wore in her pioneering community in North Israel. Perfect for any formal event, these garments are designed with the utmost quality and maintenance to create an effortless and sustainable high fashion look. As an environmentalist, Lia Kes offers an organically-dyed program as part of her clothing brand, maintaining both her love for fashion and integrity to ecological care. With this, her satin dresses last through any wear and tear, from a night out on the town to a rainy day in New York. Knowing these clothes are made ethically and with long lasting, quality materials makes their look all the more chic. And with the holidays coming up, what better outfit to wear than her iconic satin slip dresses to a work party or social event?

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lia to discuss the vision behind her brand, and what makes a KES garment so unique in its production and quality. 

Every product is manufactured right in the garment district of New York city. The silks are imported from Italy to ensure the utmost quality and durability, making them the perfect go-to piece for every season. The idea behind the production process is to ensure that each piece is as versatile as possible. Lia’s vision lies behind the question; “How can you present a contemporary garment that can also be assembled like a luxury product?”. KES’s iconic slip dresses, specifically, have an array of uses besides being a staple evening attire. According to Lia, these dresses can be worn to the beach, the office, a night on the town, a date, and even to sleep! The point is that what you wear from day to night can be of luxury quality, so no matter the occasion, your clothes can keep up to speed on your busy day to day life. 

Covid was a hard hit to everyone, but to Lia, it was just another challenge to artistic integrity, as well as health and safety in fashion. This begs the question, can you still be stylish during a pandemic? To Lia, the answer is an overwhelming YES! And thus, her iconic silk masks were born. Featured in Vogue, these simplistic yet stylish masks were a major hit. After going viral online, Lia decided to continue with the success of her line and created an assortment of vibrant and unique color options for each mask. Not only do they look incredibly chic on the face, but they also stand for a great cause. KES has donated over $100,000 dollars worth of masks to hospitals and homeless shelters. The silk and cotton blend make for great protection during the pandemic. Each mask also has a small packet for interchangeable filters, making them the perfect staple during the pandemic.

But to Lia, clothes hold more value than simply being worn. “These are the clothes that give us energy,” says Lia Kes. “That tells our story, that stays with us for years. This is the sustainable part; what you wear is who you are, and our clothes have value.” All the materials used in KES’ production are biodegradable, which makes each piece feel like a small gift of charity to the planet. Lia also organizes a program every season that creates organic dye. Every garment ends up being one of a kind that is made in a creative process. To Lia, everything that is organically dyed has a different energy to it; the beauty of it is that the vibrancy of the pigment changes with time. Lia has specialized with botanical dyes since starting her business, feeling it’s important to connect clothing back to nature. After all, the materials we sustain from the planet give back to us like the clothes we wear in our day to day lives. What we own needs to have value, and if you buy things made with quality and care, you don’t need to own much. At KES, your clothes need to serve you well. While the brand is expensive, it is valuable. This is about our relationship with the planet and people. It is not about the quantity, it is about the quality, and your decision makes a difference to the resources being used.

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