The Coveteur co-founders Stephanie Mark and Erin Kleinberg. Photography by Jake Rosenberg.
This Canada Day, we’re proposing that along with beaver tails and maple syrup, we celebrate Canadian fashion as one of our iconic national symbols. And with an endlessly talented well of Canadian designers, models and supporters to draw from, we’re pretty sure our homegrown style has earned its national pride status. But don’t just take our word for it: Here’s how some of the most influential and creative fashion personalities in the country celebrate, well, the most influential and creative aspects of Canadian fashion this year.
The Coveteur, Erin Kleinberg (co-founder and designer) and Stephanie Mark (co-founder and stylist)
Canuck-style celebration: “I love to spend Canada Day having brunch (and a BBQ!) with my family and boyfriend. We usually spend the day lounging by the pool and relaxing. This year, I’ll be heading to NYC with my boyfriend for a weekend escape. Ideally we’d be going to Palm Springs – my home away from home – but this will do! I lived in NYC for a while so it’s always nice to go back when it’s not for work purposes, especially during this time of year. I’ll definitely be hitting up our favourite spots – Gemma, La Esquina, Otto and The Spotted Pig – strolling Central Park and likely doing some damage at Barneys.”
Candian fashion love: “I think Canadian fashion is a bit underrated and undiscovered. Being a Canadian designer (once upon a time), I know first hand how hard it is to make a name for yourself and be successful. I love that Canadian fashion is celebrated by the community on a local scale and praised by the global fashion crowd, too. My line, erinkleinberg, was carried everywhere from Holt Renfrew in Canada to Barneys, Saks and Neiman’s in the US, to Lane Crawford in Asia. It was really gratifying to see my stuff sell around the world alongside other Canadian designers like Erdem, Mark Fast, Smythe and Jeremy Laing. It’s a true testament to the fact that Canadian designers are having an influence on the global fashion market.”
Read on for more stylish Canada Day celebration details!
Canuck-style celebration: Canada Day is all about spending quality time with my family and boyfriend, too. We usually head up north to my cottage or escape to Montauk. Every summer I rent a house out there with my friends. I can’t tell you how much I anticipate that trip each year. I’ve been meaning to take up surfing, so fingers crossed this works out. There’s so much to do and see (and eat!) in Montauk. My friend actually just opened a food truck – my latest obsession – called ‘Montaco Truck’. Genius, right? I advise everyone to go! – and try the fish tacos and mint limenade.”
Candian fashion love: “I love that Canadian fashion has really grown over the last few years – and, rapidly! I worked in New York for a long time – at Intermix, ELLE and Harper’s Bazaar – and it was always refreshing to see the market embrace a new Canadian designer. Both the retail and editorial fields have started to take notice of the names coming from Canada. I also love that Canadian fashion is really supportive. The Canadian publications have really helped propel us forward since day one. It’s so great to have the love and support from your home turf! I think we realized the magnitude of this when we collaborated with Holt Renfrew for our “You’ve Been Coveteur’d” exhibit. So many people turned out to celebrate the launch and it was amazing to see and feel the love from our hometown. Canadians definitely live up to their rep of being the nicest people – at least for the most part!”
Jay Strut, Toronto-based fashion blogger
Image courtesy of Jay Strut.
Canuck-style celebration: “My favourite way to celebrate Canada would definitely have to be putting together my favorite red and white lewk! This year however, depending on how things go, I might be cheering on Portugal or Italy for the EuroCup title, so where better to share your home country’s pride than in the most multicultural city in the world – Toronto, Canada!”
Canadian fashion love: “What I love about Canadian fashion is the variety. Being so multicultural in population means so much more versatility. I love walking down Yonge Street here in Toronto and taking in all the wonderful sights, styles and fashions.”
Natasha Koifman, president of Toronto and New York-based PR agency, NKPR
Image courtesy of Natasha Koifman.
Canuck-style celebration: “My favourite way to spend Canada Day is at home by the pool, with my family, playing with my two black labs, BBQing and simply just being able to ‘be’.”
Canadian fashion love: “I love Canadian fashion! I think Canada has some of the most talented fashion designers in the world. What I love about Canadian fashion is that designers like Greta Constantine and Erdem are not afraid to have edge and yet create with femininity – everything from the styling to the fabric. I spend half my time in NYC and I still find more than half my wardrobe is from Canadian-born designers.”
Stacey McKenzie, model and runway coach
Image courtesy of Stacey McKenzie (wearing Arthur Mendonça).
Canuck-style celebration: “My FAVE way to celebrate Canada Day is to go to Pride Week, which I’m a big supporter of, and from there, barbecue party-hopping to stuff my face with hotdogs and burgers! Yes, I’m a model that loves to eat! And finally, off to the beach to watch the fireworks!”
Canadian fashion love: “I love to support Canadian designers/fashion because I feel they are underrated. There’s so many talented Canadian designers and as a lover of everything fashion, I never hesitate to rock Canada!”
Rachel Matthews Burton, fashion stylist
Image courtesy of Rachel Matthews Burton.
Canuck-style celebration: The picture above captivates how I love to spend Canada day – with family, being goofy and playing games. This is me (foreground), my husband Jason (left), my brother-in-law Adam and sister-in-law Adele, doing what we love best – having fun. We love to play games together, like scrabble, badminton, baseball, bocce ball, whatever we can cram into a weekend.”
Fashionable Canadian escape: “Our utopia is where this picture was taken, at my in-laws’ berry farm in Prince Edward County. It’s gorgeous there – peaceful, serene and always fun with family. It’s in those moments that I feel most relaxed and happy and very grateful to be living in Canada.”
Sharon Ng Hayes, fashion blogger, The Backseat Stylers
Image courtesy of Sharon Ng Hayes.
Canuck-style celebration: “One word: ribfest! There’s no better way to celebrate Canada Day than by gorging on barbecue ribs, corn on the cob, pulled pork sandwiches, funnel cakes…did I mention the ribs? I’m as serious about my food as I am about my fashion.”
Canadian fashion love: “I love that there’s such incredible talent across the country and so many collections I can get really excited about for any given season. From chic, office-ready garb by Pink Tartan and Lida Baday to stunning red-carpet looks by Greta Constantine and Lucian Matis, and from wardrobe essentials by LINE Knitwear and Smythe Les Vestes to glamorous luxuries by VAWK and Arthur Mendonça, Canadian fashion designers have us covered for every occasion. And at any price point too – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cheap yet stylish thrills I get from Joe Fresh and MOON.”
Julio Reyes, founder and managing editor, Fashionights
Photography by Drasko Bogdanovic.
Canuck-style celebration: “Normally, Pride weekend falls on Canada Day and I’m torn between what to celebrate – so I celebrate both. I’m a proud Canadian and also proud to be gay and I think it’s important to enjoy in the festivities of both! But to be quite honest, give me anything to party to and I’m in!”
Canadian fashion love: “I love that Canadian designers like to be a little more unconventional with their creativity. The usual norms that follow other designers tend to be thrown out the door and they aren’t afraid to take risks. Being Canadian – and we have fairly cold winters – I love to see the textures and mixed fabrications designers use to create that quintessential ‘Canadiana’ aesthetic.”
Robin Kay, president, Fashion Design Council of Canada
Image courtesy of Robin Kay.
Canuck-style celebration: “The Canada Day holiday celebration weekend has always been very meaningful for me. I look forward each year as I take my place upon the great Northern runway – the dock. To be once again a VIP guest of this singular summertime Canadian collection is the epitome of haute couture au naturel. The masterful colour palette of Mother Nature’s wardrobe puts my solo fashion mission into a global retrospective. I am present at the freshest of forms in a sought-after dream of river and rock, lake and land. The end of the dock is my own front row as symbolic styles of the season’s suits strut before me; gently swaying skirts in varied hue of leafy greens atop the bodice of a boundless baby blue sky. I am surrounded by endless classic reminders of true inspiration; I am fully renewed by the powerful presence of nature – calmed and supported by this reality no matter what. And as I dive into the psychedelic rainbow droplets from the landing glide of the herons, so perfectly happy to lay still within my own fashion forest. And drenched by a million muted shades of watery grays and afloat on this backdrop of lake water flats, I erupt with the splashes of applause sounding so like the silence of serenity.”
Canadian fashion love: “Having worked in the Canadian fashion industry for over 40 years and essentially the last 14 years as president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada and executive director of World MasterCard Fashion Week, I can state this fact: there is Canadian Style. Focusing on this niche, highlighting and encouraging designers to be who they are as unique fresh Canadians, not copy cats, is a very clear mandate for me. Having built our global Canadian Fashion Week since 1999 has given me the understanding of the vitality of our own Canadian fashion landscape and how critical it is to isolate and nurture our own Canadian designers.”