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Alicia Keys will make her design debut later this month.

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ECO CHIC: High-end sustainable fashion is finally attainable. That’s the verdict issued at Opportunity Green, a two-day conference held last weekend at UCLA. At Saturday’s panel titled “When Sustainable Design and Business Converge,” Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director of Barneys New York, said the recession hasn’t crimped sales of Barneys’ eco-friendly lines, although they are generally more expensive than conventionally produced merchandise. For instance, Barneys sells one bag that is made of hemp and recycled leather for $300. “We have reordered it about 20 times,” she said. “We just sell this great bag.” Gilhart said Barneys is seeking new eco collaborations and products, but remained tight-lipped about details. “There’s not one person I want to do [the collaboration with] more than another,” she said. Zem Joaquin, founder and editor in chief of Ecofabulous magazine, also welcomed the evolution of design in the eco world. “Three years ago, you could not find hot, sustainable fashion,” she said. “You could find sustainable fashion, but it was anything but sexy.”

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