Vegan Leather Is Suddenly Everywhere, But What Is It?

Faux leather has undergone a rebrand, and now it now goes by the name "vegan leather" in an attempt to move away from its former low-quality reputation. Veganism is a trend that went mainstream in 2018. In fact, everywhere from Wagamamas to Pizza Hut have a vegan menu, so it's hardly surprising that the fashion industry has latched onto the V-word too. Buzzy brands like Nanushka and Kitri are creating beautiful, supple fabrics that show just how far faux leather has come.

"I think there are a lot of stigmas attached to 'fake leather,' as it conjures up horrible cheap fabric, but there are a lot of options out there now, and it's not always necessary or needed to use real leather," explains Haeni Kim, founder of Kitri. "We love the look and feel of supple leather, but did not feel right about using real animal leather for our pieces. It took us a long time to find our vegan leather that looked and felt just right. There are a lot of options out there that you wouldn't believe are not leather."