Cannabis *Is* Fashion, Officially

Photo by JB in Amiri, styled by Karla Welch / Splash News

"Cannabis isn't only behind the health and wellness movement redefining the industry—it's also redefining fashion as an edgy accessory, motif, and fragrance, elevating couture in the name of high society as both a style and political statement.

Take, for instance, pot-inspired collections or pieces sold at Barneys New York like Malin + Goetz' cannabis fragrance, a pick-me-up for the workday or a way to spice up your night out; Adaptation's "Legalized" cashmere sweater to go with a pair of your fave denim; and Carole Shashona's cannabis pearl bracelet.

Other designers like Alexander Wang or Jacquie Aiche have also incorporated the cannabis motif into their aesthetic, while some like Edie Parker FlowerFleur Du Mal, or INDA Creations have created functional, fashionable items for the cannabis aesthete (think cannabis-emblazoned intimates or a keychain slash one-hitter).

With stoner stigma a thing of the past, designers are eager to jump on this new trend in politics and wellness, with the idea to bring cannabis into the world of fashion, as well. "I feel art imitates nature, and I always admired the cannabis plant for its beauty," says Shashona. "I started playing with the plant, drawing the plant. Aesthetically it's wonderful, and I thought I could send a message that yes, there are beneficial parts of it, and it's important for people to see."

Fleur Du Mal Botanical Printed Cheeky, $55

Shashona isn't alone in aiming to use fashion to deliver a message about cannabis. In collaboration with Manolo Blahnik last year, Rihanna’s line "So Stoned" makes a nod to the plant, featuring strappy gemstone shoes. (Get it? 'Cuz they're stoned.) In 2015, Mara Hoffman also adorned her runway collection with cannabis plant prints, while Miley Cyrus continued to rock "weed panties" even after she had decided to take a break from consuming cannabis, herself. And then there was Justin Bieber this past weekend, wearing an Amiri button down that had the world drooling.

Other more contemporary groups like Ladies of Paradise have used their background in styling and fashion to reimagine today's cannabis consumer: a little sassy, a little vintage, a little colorful, and a lot 420-friendly. Ladies of Paradise treat cannabis not only as a fashion accessory, but as much a lifestyle staple as good face wash or a daily smoothie. The plant's fun, light-hearted energy fuels a new wave of style and culture.

Grass + Flower Small Stash Jar
In an effort to get people to "lighten up" (as Carole Shashona's cannabis themed line is called) and start talking about the pros of cannabis in mainstream media, she designed a collection of couture jewelry pieces that defy stereotypes. "It's interesting because I found my audience goes from very young to old, it crosses cultures and it crosses generations, which is exciting for me," she says. "When I work, I don't have a particular person in mind, I have a concept in mind I'm trying to get across, and I wanted to have some fun with it."

She refers to the collection as "motivational jewelry." It's about not being so serious, to have some fun, Shashona explains. It's about lightening up in life, lightening up about the cannabis stigma, and of course, lighting up a joint. "There are so many people who need to lighten up, they're depressed, or there's so much going on with them," Shashona says. "I wanted my jewelry to share that whimsical side of them, to have the intention of 'hey, it's okay, cannabis can be okay.' It's important and more people need to research it."

Madison Margolin is an LA/NY-based journalist on the cannabis beat. Her work has been featured in Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, Merry Jane, Herb, Playboy, and other places too.