New York Times | AP

MIAMI (AP) — Looking to eat less meat? 2016 is shaping up to be a fine time to get in touch with your inner vegan.

And for that you can thank a bevy of celebrities promoting plant-based diets; a growing focus by restaurant chefs — including in the traditionally veg wasteland of the fast-casual scene — on making produce seductive; an onslaught of veg-centric cookbooks that show how eating lower on the food chain can be both appealing and easy; and a surge in high-end grocery items that put your grandmother's tofu cheese to shame.

As with any niche, the vegan movement is edged forward by innovative front-runners. So for a better picture of where the plant-based diet world is headed, we canvassed the scene to see who is worth noting. Here are five prominent vegans worth watching in the coming year.

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FASHION DESIGNER LYZ OLKO

Fashion designer Lyz Olko's line of army jackets dotted with flower appliques, perfectly frayed denim shorts and edgy graphic T-shirts have a downtown vibe and have become staples for young celebs like Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Kristen Stewart and Miley Cyrus. Olko, who personally makes every piece in her namesake collection, is a fan of using recycled materials and sustainable production methods. (All the leather in her collection is repurposed vintage.) The 35-year-old New York City-based designer says her decision to eat a plant-based diet is "about having a larger consciousness of the effect your actions have on people around you."

"Think about other people and how can you help somebody else and not yourself," she said.

 

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Lyz Olko