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Toronto Female Entrepreneurs (INTERVIEW)

Three Young Canadian Designers Discuss Their Successes

— June 21, 2013 — Fashion
A recent event at Elle Hardware, a unique jewelry boutique in downtown Toronto, showcased some exceptional young Canadian designers and their fabulous work. Each of these ladies had something special to bring to the table, whether it was designing elegant Japan-inspired jewelry, creating everyday lingerie for busy women, or curating stunning jewelry collections.

Three of these brilliant young innovators sat down with Trend Hunter to talk about what inspired their creations, how they’ve managed to remain unique, and what they believe to be trending throughout the fashion world.

Lindsay MacMillan, owner of Elle Hardware

1. What inspired you to begin this venture?

I originally started out in journalism and arts, and I took a few business classes and found them inspiring, in terms of the entrepreneurial side of business and what was possible. I kind of started thinking about how I could make this a reality for myself; how could I blend my two interests and make a career out of it. That’s when Elle Hardware was born.

2. Tell me about some of the jewelry trends you’ve seen in recent years. What do you think is the inspiration behind these popular designs?

A lot of inspiration comes from somewhere. People are always looking at things, going to art galleries, digging through their friends’ closets, watching films…I think inspiration always stems from something that already was. I think trends in jewelry sort of echo that. Jewelry is one of the oldest trades, so I think there’s always been an element of the bohemian, the organic, the very smooth and flowing. Then, there’s the geometric with the evolution of architecture, and modern art and things like that. I think the trends really echo the taste profile of people. I hand-curated all the collections, I hand-picked them myself, so a lot of it is talking to the designer and asking them what their design philosophy is and what inspires them.

Erin Tracy, owner of Erin Tracy Designs

3. Tell me a bit about Erin Tracy Designs. What’s the main inspiration behind your work?

Erin Tracy Designs is really about making beautiful, wearable and functional jewelry that’s a little bit different. I like to say it’s elegant with a twist. I like to combine different materials, things that are unexpected, like concrete with diamonds or acrylic with gold. The real inspiration comes from my travels throughout the world, and seeing different color combinations, or a beautiful building. I love to explore different countries and see what’s happening there, then bring it back here to build a collection out of that.

4. What do you see as trending in the jewelry world?

I try not to pay much attention to what’s going on out there, and really try to focus on the creativity in my head. I’ve always been a very creative person, and I sometimes have almost too many ideas, so I’m always writing down different ideas and doing quick sketches, just to keep me fresh. I don’t like to see what other people are doing, so I can just stay on top of my own game and make it my own, make it very different and unique.

Alicia Martin, owner of Dear Frankie

5. What’s the inspiration behind Dear Frankie’s new collection?

I think that a lot of the inspiration comes from myself, and women who are in my position -- struggling artists who are trying to make ends meet, while remaining creative individuals who are just trying to do everything. In the studio, you want to be comfy and whatnot, but then if you have a party to run to, you don’t have time to go home and change, so a Dear Frankie dress is perfect. It’s an all-day outfit that, when you add a necklace, looks like a nighttime outfit.

6. What’s the most interesting part of the Dear Frankie collection?

I feel like the Dear Frankie lingerie is the most interesting, because it’s kind of a bridge. It’s not your cotton, granny panties, and it’s not your I-have-to-change-out-of-my-outfit-and-into-my-lingerie kind of thing. It’s something that you can wear on your date if you want, or every day. To me, trying to bridge the gap between your granny pantie drawer and your sensual pantie drawer by making it okay to just wear cute panties all the time is really interesting. That, to me, is what keeps it interesting.

Image Credits:
Toronto Standard
Stiletto Twins