“Nice leather belt.”
The sarcastic rejoinder that vegans everywhere get to hear, usually after making a request to find a restaurant with non-animal product-based foods on the menu.
As hard as it can be to find vegan-friendly eating options, finding vegan-friendly footwear and fashion is not so easy either.
Enter Meg and Komie Vora: sisters who share everything, including a mission to bring fashion forward through ethically vegan clothing.
Since creating the company four years ago, the founders of Delikate Rayne, a cruelty-free women’s contemporary luxury clothing line, have been bringing good taste to vegan stylings in a way that both believe speaks to the origins and roots of the brand.
“They speak to that demographic of the Southern California gal who wants to do things that are healthier for our bodies and reach a higher consciousness,” says Christina Sewell, senior fashion campaigner for PETA, who has worked with the Vora sisters on several projects involving the organization.
With the brand’s good feelings and SoCal vibe, they’ve attracted archetypal SoCal influencers like the ubiquitous Kendall Jenner and stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe.
“I would like Delikate Rayne to keep on pushing the boundaries of cruelty-free fashion while educating consumers on how to make better purchasing decisions on a greater scale. We need to continue to create awareness so more than just the average vegan consumer can be on board. I would love for a few key collaborations to take place that can spread the message to other markets, which is vital to the industry as a whole’s advancement,” Meg Vora noted in an interview.
Described by its co-founders as a “continually steep learning curve,” as the Vora sisters are working to both serve and reinvent their market segment, Delikate Rayne is a trendsetter in ways that have little to do with the cut and lines of the outfits they proffer. For example, an outfit ordered via its web interface will — in order to create some of the intimacy one might have felt when buying an item at a physical store — come with a note tucked into the package that congratulates the buyer on his or her purchase.
“Look at you saving the environment and looking badass while doing it,” is an example of a note sent to a client.
While not everyone is ready to fully embrace a vegan lifestyle like the Vora sisters have, in the world of fashion, there has been something akin to an explosion in the vegan clothing market. Searches for “vegan clothes” are up 25 percent during the last half decade, while the more general category of “ethical fashions” have increased by 66 percent.
Niche players like Delikate Rayne have come to define the high-end parts of the spectrum, but the movement has become increasingly mainstream, with middle market-facing brands like Anthropologie and Abercrombie & Fitch selling products with vegan “leather” belts (because, as we noted, no one likes hearing the “nice belt” crack when searching for a lunch venue).
While the vertical is getting more crowded, the Vora sisters (first generation American millennials raised in Southern California’s concrete jungle) bring what they call the type E experience to their clients: edge, ethics and everlasting quality — despite the fact that their brand was formed from their childhood bedroom in their parents’ home after finishing their educations at USC and Fullerton. And, like most entrepreneurs, they started by trying to solve a problem: finding clothes they liked that lived up to their ethical commitments.
“It literally came from a need of not liking anything and not having anything fit,” Meg Vora said.
And though their clothes are made for vegans who don’t wear animals products, both Meg and Komie Vora are adamant that the fashions they offer are truly for any buyer wanting to look sharp and willing to think outside the box when it comes to the choices they make for themselves.
“We don’t want to make anyone feel like they are not included because they eat meat or wear leather,” Meg Vora said. “We want to complement what they already are doing and show them how easy it can be to go this route.”