Frank And Oak presents the other 9 to 5 with Tegan and Sara

Inspired by classic menswear tailoring, Frank and Oak’s  women’s suiting collection was designed to reinvent the familiar 9 to 5 office aesthetic. Canadian musicians and face of the collection,Tegan and Sara, know a thing or two about breaking away from mainstream fashion standards. “We believe that mixing and matching feminine and masculine silhouettes is for anybody,” says the indie pop duo. “We aren’t afraid to look pretty or be styled in a feminine way, however the gender juxtaposition of this collection is very important to us.” Starting their careers in an era of rigid societal expectations, Tegan and Sara thrived on the support and respect they received from their fans, which empowered them to embrace their unique, androgynous style and rectify conventional fashion norms.

The 5 sku line features modern silhouettes, constructed in a stretch-wool flannel-blend fabric for a sophisticated, yet edgy look. Pair the pieces for a polished head-to-toe uniform or mix and match with wardrobe basics and put your own personal spin on it. Each style was created for day-to-night versatility, whether that be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or in the case of Tegan and Sara,9 p.m. to 5 a.m.!

Jacqueline Piron at Holt Renfrew

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With her Fall/Winter 2016 collection ready to be introduced to those who look for quality and timeless pieces, Jacqueline Piron has exciting news to share.

Tomorrow, Thursday April 21st, Holt Renfrew will start carrying her elegant and luxurious shirts. Most of her Spring/Summer 2016 pieces will be available at the high-end Canadian department stores which seem to be the perfect fit for statement yet seasonless designs such as Jacqueline’s.

Looking forward to see her shirts hanging on the racks at Holt Renfrew. We would like to present to the Novella family a sneak peek to her coming Fall/Winter 2016 collection.

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To learn more about Jacqueline Piron click here.

Fashion Designer Zorana Janjic – From Paris To Vancouver

Zorana Janjic

After having collected significant experience among fashion giants such as Christian Dior, Givenchy or Prêt-à-Porter (among others), Paris-based designer, Zorana Janjic, launched her own label ZORANA JANJIC in 2014.

With a clear vision of what the contemporary woman is looking for, this young house has already been featured in big publications such as VOGUE magazine, won a grant by the Austrian Ministry for Education in 2013, the Mediterranean Fashion Prize 2014, and has been invited to Skopje Design Week 2014, just to name a few of Zorana’s recognitions.

Last year the Vancouver Fashion Week organization asked Zorana Janjic to showcase her designs for the Spring/Summer 2016 season. The show was an undeniable success, once again proving her unique talent to unify elegance, style and comfort.

In her own words, ‘ZORANA JANJIC has been created for women, who have strong understanding of themselves as well as the society they live in, who are highly active and in constant motion, but do not want to make any compromise in regards of aesthetics and style‘.

Spring 2016

Zorana Spring2016Lookbook here

Summer 2016

Zorana Summer2016Lookbook here

Celia Fernandez: As a Paris-based fashion designer, why did you decide to showcase your creations at Vancouver Fashion Week? 

Zorana Janjic: It was, in fact, the VFW organization’s initiative as they kindly invited me to showcase my collection in Vancouver within their program ‘New and Emerging International Talent’. I was naturally very honoured and happy to accept this invitation and decided to go for the adventure. I was also very excited that I got an opportunity to show my work in Canada and got to create a lot of new connections.

C.F.: How do you see the Canadian fashion industry VS. Europe?

Z.J.: I would say that the main difference is that Canada has an extremely strong streetwear scene, while European designers tend to be more well known for their high-end fashion.

C.F.: It’s been only 2 years since you officially launched ZORANA JANJIC. However, big publications such as VOGUE or GLAMOUR magazine have already featured your designs in their pages. What differentiates you from other brand and fashion designers?

Z.J.: It is true that my brand has been launched relatively recently, but before the actual launch, there were years of learning and collecting experiences in fashion, art and business. I also took enough time to develop the signature style of the brand and define, from the very beginning, what this is going to represent and project.

C.F.: What important learnings you got from your experience working at renowned parisian Haute Couture houses such as Christian Dior or Givenchy?

Z.J.: I worked in different departments in different houses, which I think was very fortunate for the development of my own professional skills and the general understanding of the fashion industry. I went through production ateliers, design studios, showrooms and even a public relations office. Each experience was of a priceless value and today when I develop my own company, I very often have flashback of how things were done in other houses and companies, where I had an opportunity to gain experiences.

C.F.: Specially in your Summer 2016, your pieces project a unisex vibe which is a big trend within the fashion industry. Do you think it’s time to definitely break the boundaries of what’s meant to be worn by men and what should be worn only by women? Are we in the middle of a ‘gender neutral fashion revolution’?

Z.J.: We are, there is no doubt to that. And it’s a great thing. I hope we will be able to make even more progress in this matter quite soon. Maybe, for instance, one day we will only have Fashion Weeks that are completely gender neutral instead of gender specific Fashion Weeks.

C.F.: How would you define the contemporary woman that you design for?

Z.J.: She or he (as we mentioned earlier) is a contemporary Venus. She is also probably a quite active person with a busy schedule, so sometimes she wants to wear something during the day that can also be worn in the evening. Most importantly, she wants to feel comfortable and powerful.

C.F.: Is this woman more into fashion trends or timeless pieces that she can wear 5-10 years from now?

Z.J.: I think that she is both. Timeless pieces’s value is that they are timeless, but there is definitely a value to fashion trends, too. And that is that for a certain period, they give you the sensation of fresh air and excitement that you don’t necessarily get from timeless pieces. Their second value is that after that sensation fades away, you have an item that represents a spirit and mood of a certain moment of our time that you lived in. But to conclude, I hope that our clients will be able to find both timeless as well as trend pieces in our collections.

C.F.: Do you look up to any fashion designer in order to get inspired? Do you have references at all that have motivated to start your own fashion label?

Z.J.: There are many designers whose work I find excellent, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to get inspired by other designer’s work, because there is a high risk of getting lost and losing your authenticity. On the other hand, I absolutely support in copying the business models and their recipes for success.

I was definitely inspired by stories of numerous designers and their houses, especially the iconic ones. I intended to found my own fashion house from a quite early age and at the time the most prominent and successful designers were Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren. They were the ones who inspired me to pursue this career.

C.F.: What piece of clothe you would never wear?

Z.J.: Haven’t found it yet.

A BRAND ON THE RISE: RICHER POORER

Many people take pride in their outfits and how they present themselves. Some people put more emphasis on particular items that may represent them. For instance, I love shoes. My shoe addiction has gotten completely out of hand, to the point where I have no more shelf space. So while we take great honour in our shoes, purses, hats, attire, or even our jewelry, one item that is consistently neglected are socks.

I’m not one to really take notice of the socks I throw on my feet. My drawer consists of many plain, black and white ankle socks that I’ve always been satisfied with. But with fashion constantly evolving, the sock trend is stepping up as well. One particular brand that is paving way in the U.S and Canada is Richer Poorer.

Richer Poorer is a California based company that was founded by two entrepreneurs, Tim Morse and Iva Pawling. Their brand is mainly dedicated to making your feet look spunky and fresh, with their one of a kind socks that comes in a variety of  lengths, material, and designs. With the growing success of Richer Poorer, they decided to bring their California style to Toronto, and has collaborated with shoes.com to provide us with their unique merchandise. I just had to get some more answers on this brand to find out what made them want to start a company that is sock related. Needless to say, I got some great answers and some awesome socks too!

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Sade Lewis: How did the concept of Richer Poorer come about?

Tim Morse: The idea of for Richer Poorer was spawned about 15 years ago while I was living in San Francisco. I’ve always been a fashion nerd and had been working in the technology industry where ties are strictly prohibited. I decided my way of expressing some personality was to find cool patterned and colored socks, which in 2000 was extremely difficult.  Fast forward to 2010 when I met up with my now business partner Iva Pawling. She had been working in the fashion industry for a few years and like me had the entrepreneurial bug. The economy was languishing from the economic meltdown of 2007 so we decided what better time to launch a company that provided well designed quality socks for a price that was attainable.

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S.L: What was the inspiration for the brand name?

T.M: For me going through the naming process was actually one of the highlights of our journey thus far. Iva and I both pride ourselves on staying humble, being good to people, and living to the best of our abilities with smiles on our faces.  We’ve traveled around the world a bit over the course of our lives and a common theme that continued to reoccur during our conversations was that money truly doesn’t provide happiness. Some of the poorest people in the world are actually some of the richest and conversely some of the richest people on paper are actually very poor humans. So we played on the juxtaposition of the words and Richer Poorer was formed.

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S.L: On the men’s side, there are socks, boxer briefs and t-shirts. Does Richer Poorer plan on expanding the brand on the women’s side?

T.M: We absolutely have plans to expand into similar women’s categories. We are launching a women’s t-shirt program in the next couple months which we’re extremely excited about. Beyond that, we are looking at ways to elevate the loungewear experience.

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S.L: Has the collaboration with shoes.com enhanced consumer traffic? If so, how?

T.M: The partnership with Shoes.com has absolutely helped with overall brand awareness and traffic to the Richer Poorer site. I’ll use this analogy. It’s like a band going from playing at small venues like the Troubadour in Los Angeles one night and then the next night, playing front of 100,000 people at Glastonbury in England.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the Richer Poorer message to the Shoes.com audience of 8-10 million people.

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S.L: Where do you see the brand five years from now?

T.M: My goal for Richer Poorer in 5 years is to be a brand that is not only recognized on a global level for high quality, well designed and affordable men’s and women’s basics, but also for being a brand that that is relatable. We have some incredible humans that are part of the Richer Poorer community. These people include, entrepreneurs, photographers, teachers, writers, surfers, musicians etc. One thing they all have in common is the ability to persevere and hustle their way to achieving personal and professional success. In this age of social media, too much of the focus of today is on the end result. The reality is, the honest part of the journey is what defines us all, and that is the narrative we at Richer Poorer want to tell.

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Meanwhile in Vancouver – Eliza Faulkner, Fashion Designer

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Vancouver-based fashion designer Eliza Faulkner prefers to talk about joy rather than happiness, and offers advice to take some time off from the Internet in order to achieve that state of joy.

As a teenager, Eliza already knew that she wanted to be a fashion designer, and at the age of 19 she was accepted at the internationally renowned design school Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design in London, England. She successfully graduated from fashion design but she had to move back to Canada as in the middle of the recession, Europe wasn’t the perfect scenario to start a career as a designer.

Ever since Eliza started designing dresses – at the beginning, just for friends and family – her career it has been stellar. In 2014 she was nominated in the Emerging Talent Category at the Canadian Art & Fashion Awards, ELLE Canada named her ‘One of the Top Ten Canadian Designers to Know‘, and her designs are worn by actresses and celebrities such as Marisa Tomei, Nikki Reed, and Kelly Clarkson.

Contemporary, edgy yet soft. That is how we see and describe Eliza’s reinterpretation of femininity and sophistication.

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Spring/Summer 2014

Celia Fernandez – You are part of those few people who always knew what they wanted to do for living. However, this dream come true didn’t happen overnight. Even that you graduated from renowned fashion design school Central St. Martin’s you had to struggle with the consequences of the recession in Europe and had to come back to your hometown Cowichan Valley – Vancouver Island – where you worked at your mother’s shoe shop. What kept you motivated during those days? 

Eliza Faulkner – I’ve been sewing and making things since I was a tween, so it’s natural for me to always be making something. When I started my label I didn’t anticipate where this was going. I was making dresses in the evening to satisfy the urge and then it snowballed from there. I’d be making clothing whatever the circumstance. Even if no one bought them, I’d still be doing it.

C.F – The fashion industry is definitely aggressive and not as glamorous as people think. Do you think some talented up-and-coming designers give up on their careers because they don’t find the support they were expecting when decided to chase after their dreams?

E.F – Behind mountains of great press and celebrity endorsement the sales can tell another story – which is why we see so many great labels disappear-. At the end of the day it’s sales and your customer that will give you longevity. Rather than spending money on a flashy fashion show, I think young designers should focus on building a solid relationship with the buyers and their customers first.

C.F – You sell your own designs through your website. Have you considered reaching out to big retailers, or this isn’t really worthy for a young designer given that they end up taking most of the margin? Are big retailers a realistic option for young brands?

E.F – I would love to sell through a major retailer and I’m working on it. I want the label to be available to more people and big retailers can do that. It just takes some time to get that appointment with the buyers as they’re busy people and get hundreds of lookbooks a day.

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Holiday 2015

C.F – They always ask how is it possible for a young brand to compete with big titans and fashion empires. Do you really look at them as competitors, or your demographics have nothing to do with them? 

E.F – I do look at some of them as competitors – in the long run-. Right now, I mostly look at other contemporary womenswear brands that are doing similar things as my competitors.

C.F – If you could go back to an specific period of time in the fashion history, when would it be? Would your signature as a fashion designer differs a lot from what we can see now on your pieces?

E.F – I’ve always loved the seventies. It’s glamorous but also has a laziness about it that I love. I think if I was designing in the seventies the styling might change, but my clothes would remain the same. The silhouettes I work with are very classic so I think they could be worn in any era. Maybe just the shoes and the hairstyle would change!

C.F – Your own definition of happiness…

E.F – This is the hardest question yet! I guess I prefer joy over happiness because happiness is fleeting. I’ll be happy when I get an award or make a sale but it doesn’t last. Joy is constant, under-lying, and always there. Even on the worst days you can have joy. So maybe my definition of happiness is joy… And also taking time off from the internet!