A Conversation With Jordan McKay of HENDRIXROE

This week marks Jordan McKay and HENDRIXROE move to their iconic new home at Toronto Fashion Week. As always. Miss McKay managed to dazzle and awe her audience. Earning another standing ovation. Often times when a designer’s star rises, the newfound fame can sometimes overwhelm and change a designer, however, Jordan remains the exact same fashion heroine she was when she started her now famous brand all of those years ago.

Recently Novella sat down with the designer to find out what makes her who she is and how she shaped HENDRIXROE into the powerhouse it is today.

What makes HENDRIXROE different from other contemporary brands in Canada?

Jordan McKay – I’ve always felt like I was the underdog when it came to fashion. Heres this quiet girl from Saskatchewan, designing alongside these veterans in the Canadian fashion game. So it always felt like I had so much to prove for my sake and the brand’s sake. Other than that, I think it really comes down to the clothes themselves. The manufacturers I work with for the brand put quality first just like I do. I think that really makes Hendrix Roe what it is. I love what I do and it has to be perfect. So what we want to give everyone is a brand built on love. Cause that’s what HENDRIXROE is really about. Making something that can bring people together.

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

So what gives HENDRIXROE it’s iconic look?

JM – People think the brand is just this kind of head-banging heavy metal brand because we play rock music during the runway show, which isn’t completely wrong, but that’s not everything it is. If you really look at the designs and the clothes there’s a ton of references in there that aren’t just rock and roll. I’m super inspired by hip-hop, the 70’s, and the 80’s and think you can really see that in a lot of the collections. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been that girl that listened to Metallica and all that, but that isn’t everything the HENDRIXROE is. It’s really about self-expression, you know? Being able to speak up and be who you are. That’s badass.

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

What made you into the person you are today?

Jordan McKay – When I was in high school I had no voice. I was super quiet and shy. So that ended with getting bullied and just going through a lot of struggles during that time. But don’t get me wrong, I did go through all of that but at the end of the day, I’m a very privileged girl. Blonde, blue eyes, and white. For all of the things I’ve gone through, I know I have a hell of a lot of privilege compared to so many people out there. I recognize that. I think that’s what really made who I am today. Having to open myself up and find my voice. I think a lot of people think that I’ve just always been this crazy, loud, bubbly girl but it took a hell of a lot of work to get me to open up and be comfortable in my own skin. Even now with everything happening so fast and the brand getting so much recognition, it feels like barely have any time do just like sit down, take a breath, and say “you’ve got this kid.” Cause I’m not used to this sort of thing, even after being around for a few seasons. I still sometimes feel like that quiet girl I was back then. Cause I won’t lie, it can get overwhelming really quickly. I think another really big part of what shaped me as a person is that I really am inspired by the people who fight for love. I like to call them the warriors of love. It’s all of these people around the world that are trans, gay, bi, LGBT, people of colour, minorities, all of these oppressed people who have to fight every day to just earn the right to love who they want. Like that’s my real inspiration, if that makes any sense. The people who fight for love and a voice in this world.

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

What message do you think HENDRIXROE sends to the Canadian fashion audience?

Jordan McKay – Honestly it’s about acceptance. There are so many people who just get beaten down every day. They’re marginalized and singled out for just trying to live their lives. For me, and I can only hope this is what comes across with me and the brand is that I get you. I get the pain and the silence. I get you and I hear and I love. When I was bullied in high school I didn’t have that opportunity to have someone give me that chance to find my voice and be completely transparent. So I need to make sure that the people around me who feel like they can’t speak up or say what they truly need to say have an outlet for that. It really comes down to HENDRIXROE being an outlet for those who don’t feel accepted to find that acceptance. To feel like they have a safe space and that they have a tribe and they have a family. I never want to speak for someone, but with the brand, I can truly feel like I can speak for you when times are hard, if you need that support, until you finally feel ready to let your voice be heard. I think that’s so important. To fight for those people. I hope that’s what everyone really sees when they see HENDRIXROE.

Photos: Toronto Fashion Week

What direction do you see HENDRIXROE taking in the near future?

Jordan McKay – International. Definitely international. You know, sometimes I find myself getting messages from all of these amazing people saying they love the brand and they love what I’m doing and I just sit there thinking “holy crap, how the hell do they even know who I am?” But for sure international. And I know everything is going online now, but I think another really big step I’d love to take is having a store. Like an actual HENDRIXROE store. I love people. So I still feel like we as people need that human touch. I think that’s what makes the brand so different too. It’s not unapproachable, I’m not unapproachable. I want to have that personable experience, you know what I mean. And I think you can really get that in a store. A nice stand-alone store. Not in a mall… No, never a mall. They weird me out. I’ve never been a mall girl.

A big congratulations to Jordan for another stunning show. We know Canada and the world are dying to see what you’ll do next. With all our love from Novella magazine!

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

Novella Magazine’s Top 5 Picks

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Photos: Shayne Gray Photography

 

TOM Fall/Winter 2016

Bringing Toronto men’s fashion to the fore is what initially drove Toronto Men’s Fashion Week to build upon a platform for designers to showcase the latest in men’s wear. Whether it be formal, street, or casual, Toronto Men’s Fashion Week has transcended from local Toronto talent, to national creativity drawing from all parts of the country to come together and share their designs for the dapper male.

This past Autumn/Winter 2016 season, TOM has brought together another incredible group of designers to flaunt their latest collection to fashion goers. Among the 18 up and coming, and established, designers, Novella Magazine was transfixed on five innovative brands that stood out in cut, colour, and overall style.

Bringing their own spin on streetwear, with the use of leather and fur, HIP and BONE crosses the two styles that men love to channel when wanting to make a statement; street and formal wear. Crossing the two styles with the use of fur on leather jackets and layering the statement piece with hip length crewneck sweaters, HIP and BONE fuse their take on the modern day gent.

Making waves with bringing the past to the present, Finezza sure wants to remind the men’s fashion world of their journey through time. The Montréal native brand brings back ascots, plaid suits, and turtle neck sweaters to exude a 1950’s French Riviera aura. Captured by the use of cuts with their suits, and bold statements with colour, Novella is on board for what Finezza brings from there time capsule collections.

Another streetwear brand that caught our eye was Joao Paulo Guedes. Bringing to mind a modern twist on oriental flare, with the use of geometric textiles, wide belts accompanying sleeveless tanks and shiny fabrics mimicking silk, the street brand brought their own vision of what men’s style should be to the fore. And with their creative take on the collection, the crowd, and Novella, were in no qualms at all.

Taking their first walk on the TOM runways, Hendrixroe brought the sophistication and edge of the 1970’s. Layers were the main theme of the collection as the addition of scarves and vests layered over jackets really kept the Autumn/Winter season into play. The rich colours of purple and green accented the hues of brown and grey as the capes and coats floated down the runway.

And last CAFFERY VAN HORNE. This men’s wear line showed gents how layering should be done for the upcoming winter season. Their take on men wearing capes and scarves draped over the shoulder, with the accompaniment of wool blazers and dark hued turtle neck sweaters spoke old Hollywood glam. Adding drama to the collection with black leather gloves and aviator style sunglasses, exudes a sense of sophistication and prestige at first glance.

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Photo: Shayne Gray Photography

 

 

10 Standout Looks From Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

It’s hard to believe it’s only been 2 years since Toronto became the eighth city to host a men’s fashion week. Bad weather on day one, and intense heat inside the venue during the fourth edition of TOM* runway shows did not keep people away from the successful week.

Designers displayed athleticwear to elegant suiting and everything in-between on the runway. Here are a few looks that stood out during the week in no particular order.

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Each season we are always excited to DALLA runway show. Designer Huessin Dhalla Fall/Winter 2016 collection is proof that he is not afraid to shake things up a bit each season. Although the styling might intense for some men, there were plenty of wearable pieces. This coat was one of many that we are currently coveting from the collecting.

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We were excited to see designer Joao Paulo Guedes back on the runway. The designer’s collection included prints, cropped trousers, and jackets. The collection was further proof that he deserved to be the first Emerging Designer Menswear Award winner.

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Wraps continues to be a big trend in menswear. It’s a great replacement of a jacket. Designer Caffery van Horne, who had one of the most touching moments with his mom at the end of the show, showed why this trend is perfect for looking stylish on windy days.

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Hendrixroe menswear collection was definitely one of our favs of the week. We feel in love with all of the luxe outerwear pieces.

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Montreal-based brand Hip and Bone always shows amazing leather jackets and bags. For Fall/Winter 2016 the label had did not disappoint.

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Kenneth Barlis has become one of our favourite shows to watch during TOM*. We love his mix of contemporary prints and suiting,

 

 

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EDMA winner 3.PARADIS continued to showcased Utilitarian looks for Fall/Winter 2016.

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Christoper Bates showcased his Fall/Winter collection to another packed house. The designer, who has launched shoe lines with Harry Rosen and Browns, showed why he deserved his CAFA award nomination for Best Meenswear Designer.

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Showcasing for the first time at TOM, Toronto Native Candace Lau marries luxurious fashion and functionality.  The designer’s F/W ’16 menswear collection showcased cuts and designs of a Europe past, with a fresh spin on materials and silhouettes.

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FINEZZA is always a crowd favourite during TOM. The Phantom of the Opera finale and the designers adorable family at the end brought the crowd to it’s feet.

All images by Shayne Gray Photography  http://www.shaynegray.com/