Featured Favourites | 5 Toronto-Based Designers You Should Know

Toronto is brimming with cool restaurants, shops, and bars, but it isn’t often thought of as the birthplace for anything—the city seems to simply be taking part. These Toronto-based designers are changing that perception. Familiarize yourself with these stylish names, coming right out of our own backyard.

Jenny Bird

This jewelry designer hails from small-town Elora, but now calls Toronto home. She aimed to fill a gap in the market by providing jewelry you simply couldn’t find from other brands. Now, her jewelry is now sold in over 600 retailers in 14 countries, gracing the likes of Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts, and Lucy Hale—to name a few. Her Saro gold hoop and Ziggy drops make a statement, with prices that don’t break the bank.


Andrew Coimbra

Coimbra’s collection is self-described as “androgynous streetwear with luxury edge.” He launched his own label in 2015 and global expansion is on his horizon. “Gender-flexible” pieces appear highly masculine but include enough form for a neutral fit. Blending cool, refined ease with fine tailoring and fabrics, Coimbra is influenced by his favourite artists and the way Canadians view their own country.


Lesley Hampton

If you’ve been to any TWFW, this name will sound familiar. Hampton may have roots in Newfoundland, but she’s broke ground here in Toronto, having launched her brand in 2016 and working to make fashion as diverse as possible. She’s been highly praised for an all-inclusive catwalk, as seen in her SS ‘18, which included not only models of different races but of all body types. She draws inspiration from her First Nations background, designing clothes inspired by Native stories and folklore, while reflecting upon her education in art and sculpture.


Mikhael Kale

Kale applies a conceptual approach with a strong attention to detail to tailor expertly craft clothes. Since launching in 2007, he’s been featured internationally, with a stylist resume that includes dressing Beyonce and Gigi Hadid, while Winnie Harlow has been spotted in various pieces. His aim is to create womenswear that remains new and present, celebrating the wearer using fashion as art.


Smythe

Toronto-based duo Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smyth are behind this brand with its cult-like following, creating versatile, timeless wardrobe essentials. Best known for their iconic blazer, the two emerged at a time when expensive jeans were a thing, but nobody could afford the right blazer to match. Since their debut, their line has bloomed into a full collection, including jackets, coats, dresses, pants, and, now, knitwear. Famous wearers include the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle, and Katy Perry.

Who are your favourite local designers? Let us know in the comments!

Designer Swap is Canada’s online luxury consignment shop and Toronto-based fashion blog. Find gently-used and pre-loved authentic designer pieces to purchase and read about the newest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends. Make sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook!

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Sites to check out:

https://shopsmythe.com/pages/about

https://torontolife.com/tag/smythe/

https://ca.hellomagazine.com/fashion/02018010941552/smythe-designers-meghan-markle-brando-coat/

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/style/talented-duo-behind-canadian-brand-smythe/

https://torontofashionweek.to/designers/andrew-coimbra/

http://www.andrewcoimbra.com/about-2/

https://editseven.ca/qa-with-toronto-menswear-designer-andrew-coimbra/

http://www.ellecanada.com/fashion/trends/article/toronto-designer-andrew-coimbra-wants-to-conquer-the-world

https://jenny-bird.ca/pages/about-jenny

https://visitzane.com/collections/jenny-bird

https://fashionmagazine.com/fashion/taylor-swift-wears-jenny-bird/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/08/11/jenny-bird-indigo-modern-pearl_n_7971366.html

https://torontoguardian.com/2017/11/fashion-designer-lesley-hampton/

http://www.lesleyhampton.com/about/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/lesley-hampton-expands-definition-of-beauty-in-fashion-1.4038741

http://www.flare.com/fashion/tfw-lesley-hampton-diversity/

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/canada/articles/10-toronto-based-fashion-designers-you-should-know/

http://yorkdale.com/designer/mikhael-kale/

http://www.ellecanada.com/fashion/fashion-weeks/article/why-we-re-obsessed-with-canadian-designer-mikhael-kale

https://ca.hellomagazine.com/tags/0/mikhael-kale/

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