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Supermodel Amber Valletta is a Sustainability Ambassador Twice Over

Amber Valletta has not just one but two sustainability ambassadorships under her belt.

Karl Lagerfeld announced Friday that it has tapped the ‘90s fashion icon to take a “holistic view” of the French luxury house’s sustainability efforts by working closely with design director Hun Kim on future eco-friendly rollouts.

Valletta, a longtime sustainability activist, linked arms with Karl Lagerfeld last year to create a spring 2021 capsule of accessories derived from organic cotton and cactus leather. The supermodel will be playing designer again with a spring 2022 lineup that includes women’s ready to wear.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to help progress the sustainability journey that has already begun at Karl Lagerfeld,” Valletta said in a statement that referred to the brand’s famously idiosyncratic founder, who served as creative director of Chanel and Fendi before his death in 2019. “It feels like a wonderful and natural homage to Karl, as he was such an innovator himself.”

Pier Paolo Righi, CEO of Karl Lagerfeld, said that Valletta will “greatly help us to explore new and innovative ways to drive change together and make a true impact.” The brand is a member of the Fashion Pact, a non-legally binding series of sustainability commitments launched by Kering boss François-Henri Pinault at the Group of Seven summit in 2019. Signatories have pledged to support zero deforestation and sustainable forest management by 2025, eliminate single-use plastics in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer packaging by 2030, and collectively achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, among other targets.

“Amber and I have for many years continuously exchanged ideas to make fashion more sustainable,” Righi said, noting that Valletta’s appointment and the release of sustainable products is part of the ongoing Karl Cares initiative. “It means a lot to me that we can now bring Amber on board to make her an integral part of our sustainability journey.”

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Last month, Valletta was named Fashion Institute of Technology’s first sustainability ambassador, which the New York school said solidifies its commitment to “expanding sustainability education and awareness to address the challenges facing the creative industries.”

The move was an intuitive one, FIT said. In addition to serving on the FIT Foundation board, the former Master & Muse owner also delivered the keynote speech at the 2019 Sustainable Business and Design Conference and hosted the 2019 and 2021 awards galas, both of which revolved around sustainable innovation.

Amber Valletta has not just one but two sustainability ambassadorships under her belt.
Amber Valletta at BALENCIAGA SS22 Red Carpet Collection event during Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 2 Ik Aldama/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

“Over the years, Amber has been deeply involved in FIT’s sustainability initiatives both on and off-campus, and has quickly become a close friend of the college,” FIT president Joyce F. Brown said in a statement. “She is also a dedicated and respected advocate and activist, which makes naming her our first official sustainability ambassador a natural and easy decision. We are proud to have her represent our community and help us continue to make a lasting impact on the world around us.”

Valletta, the school said, will work closely with the FIT community, alumni, and partners throughout the 2021–2022 academic year “and beyond.” She will mentor students in the annual Biodesign Challenge, drive fundraising efforts for the FIT Sustainability Fund and help plan the 2022 Sustainable Business and Design Conference.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from the students, educators, and the entire FIT community,” said Valletta, who audited a class on biodesign at FIT last semester. “At FIT, they have made sustainability a focal point that directs both their fundraising efforts and curriculum, which will undoubtedly bring about positive changes for the future of creative industries.”