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Canadian fashion designers: Three stylish love stories

Chris Muir Image by: Chris Muir Author: Elle Canada

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Canadian fashion designers: Three stylish love stories

Joseph Mirmran & Kimberley Newport-Mimran

Meet Joe: Creative director of Joe Fresh, which grows this spring to include Ottawa and Victoria locations plus some 700 Joe Fresh shops in JC Penny across the United States.

Meet Kim: President and head designer of Pink Tartan, the country's go-to label for ladylike chic.

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Together: 14 years; married for 12.

Time out:
K: "We are booked four to six months ahead - if we want to do a dinner, it's on the calendar."
J: "The most important thing is making sure that our daughter [Jacqueline, 11] gets all of our love and attention."

Family romance:
J: "When we're in New York for work, it's just the two of us. We probably share more date nights than most couples."
K: "We love food, a great atmosphere, a beautiful bottle of wine. We're going to Paris soon, and we're working on reservations for somewhere fabulous."
J: "We love fashion, we love to dress up, we love to have fun. We have quite a charmed life."

Main muse:
J: "When Kim comes out of the closet in the morning, it's always a ‘ta-da!' That's a real charge. Like, ‘Oh, you did a whole tan-and-white story.' It's like having a built-in muse."
K: "When I've finished a collection, I always walk Joe through it. With a lot of design, there's a merchandising aspect to how it all comes together. He's been a great mentor for me."

Nicknames:
K: "We mostly call each other ‘honey,' right? [Laughs] Sometimes I call him ‘Joe Fresh' or ‘Mr. Fresh.'"
J :[Laughs] "I call her ‘Kimmy.' No ‘loverpuss' or anything like that.

Meet another inspirational Canadian fashion couple on the next page...

couples-3.jpg Philip Sparks & Andrew Sardone

Meet Philip: Designer of Philip Sparks, which includes tailored menswear and womenswear as well as accessories. New this spring? Women's shoes.

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Meet Andrew: Style editor for Toronto magazine NOW.

Together: Five years; married for one.

Style sparks:
A: "We met at a fashion show. I've always said I wasn't looking at Philip, but apparently we were making eyes at each other across the runway."
P: "We live and breathe what we do. We're always bouncing ideas off each other."
A: "Philip has this body of knowledge about historical and vintage fashion. I'm always around his ideas, and he puts me on these paths that I wouldn't normally go on if I were left to my own devices."
P: "It's really nice to have someone close to you who you can say ‘Try this on!' to. Sometimes I just want him to try it on and I'm not asking for an opinion, but I get one anyway." [Laughs]

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What's cooking:
P: "If we're going to make bread, we don't just make bread. We're fermenting the yeast ourselves."
A: "We had our families over for Christmas; we did beef Wellington and lobster soup. By the sixth course, our families looked sort of defeated: They needed a nap and we were bringing out cheese."

Free time:
A: "We're always embarrassed to talk about the fact that we go antiquing. We're not buying doilies-"
P: "Or teacups."
A "Yet."

Nicknames:
P: "All our pet names are for the cat! We have all these wedding photos of us doing our jackets with lint rollers before leaving for City Hall."

Meet a third stylish Canadian couple on the next page...

couples-2.jpg Ela Kowalewska & Martin Aldorsson

Meet Ela: Designer and co-founder of luxury leather-goods line Ela.

Meet Martin: Co-founder and CEO of Ela.

Together: Four years; married for two.

Love at first sight:
M: "Ela was sitting two tables from me at a restaurant in London. There was a strong connection right away."
E: "We were smitten."

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Teamwork:
M: "We created the company from scratch. I work on the sales, marketing and production end of things."
E: "I handle everything that's creative, from designing bags to working on the website, look books and shoots."

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Fave qualities:
M: "Ela is so calm and happy - and beautiful! I love how she's determined and goaloriented. We complement each other very well."
E: "Martin is smart, driven and charming. I love that he's worldly and a bit of a nomad. He inspires me every day! I think we elevate each other."

Downtime:
M: "We play tennis. Since we work so closely together, we always have to remember to take breaks and say ‘Let's treat ourselves to a great lunch!'"
E: "And when we travel, we try to sneak in a day or two to relax wherever we go. If we go to Bologna, we'll spend a couple days in Florence and indulge in some food. But tennis is great because you can't really talk!"

Nicknames:
E: "We both call each other ‘Monkey'!"

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Canadian fashion designers: Three stylish love stories