Toronto’s fashion scene may not be as booming as New York or Paris but the past decade has shown significant evidence of the city’s capability in fashion design, bringing out the best of Canadian innovation and creativity. With a number of local fashion brands already making noise in the global stage, the communal desire to instigate a new trend and break the popularity of big chains in the Great White North is real and is escalating in a good way. Here are 8 of our favourite local fashion brands in Toronto that embody true Canadian talent as they continuously push boundaries in the fashion world.
1. Peace Collective
Founded by Yanal Dhailieh in 2014, the Toronto based brand is known for not just directly expressing Canadian pride through clothes but its philanthropic effort to help individuals in need with every purchase. Forming partnerships with the Toronto Blue Jays and Juno Awards, it is currently one of the most in-demand fashion brands in the country.
2. Pink Tartan
Housed in a historic Georgian structure in Yorkville, Pink Tartan produces collections for women that bridge fashion and function. Being a sportswear designer, Kimberley Newport Mimran focuses on accentuating the woman’s figure but still upholding by exuding sophistication through her clothes. The brand has been well received by many high profile individuals, making it a total Canadian achievement.
3. Lesley Hampton
Another Canadian designer is currently on the rise and her name is Lesley Hampton! A member of the First Nations, she specializes in luxury after 5 dresses or evening wear. What also separates her from other local fashion brands is her advocacy on mental health and body positivity. Lesley Hampton’s creations have been long embraced by many Canadian celebrities and has been featured on various global publications.
4. Untitled & Co
Founded in 2012 by Cameron Wilson and Chloe Sam McGrath, their tiny store on Queen Street West has been well visited by indie fashion fanatics. Focusing on contemporary street wear, the brand designs with the consideration of gender neutrality and unique style that would please trendsetters. Their signature logo pieces have been the biggest hits because of their versatility and capability of making a statement without incorporating details.
5. Red Canoe
If you are a logo fanatic or perhaps a history buff, then Red Canoe is the store for you. Founded by Dax Wilkinson, his one of a kind brand features pieces with Canadian and international companies’ logo under licensing agreements with their owners. To induce the Canadian market, they carry icons such as RCAF, De Havilland, CBC, RCMP, and the Canadian Pacific Railway through clothing and accessories.
6. Hayley Elsaesser
Known for her reverence of pop culture, Hayley Elsaesser designs pieces like no other. Through the use of bold prints and colours, her collections completely defy the rule of appearing plain and stress the idea of standing out. Hayley has also been noted for her solid stance on inclusivity – size, race, and health condition. Her works have been recognized by major artists such as Katy Perry and featured on big publications including Vogue and Elle.
Launched in 2009 by sister Meg and Mel Sinclair and Paige Cowan, Muttonhead is popular for its ethical unisex apparel. Essentially, designs have classic menswear silhouettes but also keeping women in mind to make the brand as gender neutral s possible. The pieces are perfect for everyday wear but also ideal for the cottage or any outdoor excursion such as camping.
8. October’s Very Own
It was given that when Drake’s clothing brand got established in T-dot, it was going to be a considerable hit. The highly renowned rapper has significantly repped his hometown not just through his music but through his clothing as well. Selling Canadian sportswear and urban streetwear, Drake’s collection has been received consistently well both fashion critics and the general public.