Courtesy of Sid Neigum Credits: Courtesy of Sid Neigum
While Canadians are generally the first to point out our homegrown fashion designers who have made it abroad —hey there, Erdem!— we’re always proud to draw attention to the names and labels that maintain their home base right here in Canada. We rounded up the top 10 Canadian fashion designers who are continually elevating our national profile—back here and abroad— as they design world-class collections from their local studios.
Canadian fashion designer: Jeremy Laing
Launched line: 2005
Signature look: Worldly, sensual and geometric
Why we love him: While his eponymous line has been showing at New York Fashion Week since Spring 2006, Laing continues to create artfully constructed pieces—of the quietly disarming and brilliantly embellished variety, he seamlessly hops between both—from his Toronto studio.
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Canadian fashion label: Greta Constantine
The designers: Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong
Launched line: 2006
Signature look: Sleek and minimalist; jersey is a favourite fabric
Why we love them: The name—a hybrid of Wong’s mother, Greta, and Pickersgill’s grandfather, Constantine—is as inextricably linked to Canadian fashion as much as its architectural, feminine designs.
Canadian fashion label: Pink Tartan
The designer: Kimberley Newport-Mimran
Launched line: 2002
Signature look: Graceful, understated elegance
Why we love her: For mixing ladylike ruffles and prints (think delicate butterflies and flowers) with streamlined practicality, and making it—the clothes, us—appear effortlessly on trend.
Canadian fashion designer: Denis Gagnon
Launched line: 2000
Signature look: Black, white and red-hot all over
Why we love him: The Montreal-based Gagnon is known for playing with structure and fabric every season, but has several marquee sartorial statements— leather, airy silks, with pops of electric colour—coursing through every collection.
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Read on for more of the top made-in-Canada fashion designers...
Image from Sid Neigum's Fall/Winter 2013-14 lookbook.
Canadian fashion designer: Lida Baday
Launched line: 1987
Signature look: Tailored, European and timeless
Why we love her: What Diane von Furstenberg did with the wrap dress, Baday mastered using fine fabrics (wool jersey, jacquard) to craft sleek silhouettes that are both classic and contemporary, season after season.
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Canadian fashion designer: Sid Neigum
Launched line: 2009
Signature look: Fluid, sharp androgyny
Why we love him: The Alberta-born artist is all about the blurred lines, finely oscillating between extremes—high and low, edgy and sweet—with refined craftsmanship and youthful edge.
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Canadian fashion label: Joe Fresh
Designer: Joe Mimran
Launched line: 2006
Signature look: Bright, modern and of course, fresh
Why we love him: The man who launched Club Monaco, Joe (we feel like we’re on a first-name basis with him) is as much a considered, on-point designer as an entrepreneurial leader—he expanded the tangerine-marked brand into American retailer J.C. Penney, as well as opened an enormous New York flagship on Fifth Avenue. The Soho location opens this fall.
Canadian fashion label: DUY
Designer: Duy Nguyen
Launched line: 2001
Signature look: Futuristic, playful luxury
Why we love him: Each season, Nguyen explores a narrative through time (the ’50s in Fall 2012) and space (the desert-themed Spring 2012 collection), rendered with different fabrics and details, yet continuing the same story of feminine and sophisticated style.
Canadian fashion label: Smythe
Designers: Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner
Launched line: 2004
Signature look: Structured, versatile, edgy
Why we love them: The duo designs smart, sleek pieces each season that become instant wardrobe classics. But don’t just take our word for it—Kate Middleton is also a noted repeat fan. The Duchess wore a navy one-button blazer during her Royal Canadian tour in 2011, and again during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Canadian fashion label: Mackage
Designers: Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy
Launched line: 2000
Signature look: Sexy, razor-sharp silhouettes
Why we love them: The designers, childhood friends, are known for their edgy outerwear—from leather bombers to anorak trenches and luxe rainwear—and are launching their debut 12-piece handbag collection this fall.
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