Unless you’ve been living under a rock deep in the tundra, you’ve probably noticed a rapidly growing number of talented Quebecker designers these days. After going through a bumpy decade, local fashion seems to have tapped into a new found fervour to strive. Is it a positive side effect from social media? Partially yes, I believe so. When you’re constantly being exposed to what’s being done internationally, it’s kind of normal to think that “if they can do cool stuff in Oslo or Kiev, well us too!”
Another reason why local fashion has been on the rise lately: the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster, also known as “mmode”. The nonprofit organization saw the light of day in 2015 in hopes of bringing together all levels of the industry (creators, manufacturers, wholesalers-distributors, and retailers) and help local fashion grow and improve its competitiveness nationwide, but also worldwide. In other words: they’re on a really cool mission.
A couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to be invited by the Cluster during the Fashion & Design Festival to find out about the organization’s new visual signature: #mtlstyle. That official fresh-out-of-the-oven hashtag, which local retailers will be able to print on their windows and which you can use next time you take an Instagram pic proudly dressed in Quebecker clothes, is acting as a rallying force for local brands. The campaign’s slogan, “Unique is the new perfect”, is also a way to celebrate our strengths. “ With our schools, talents, cultural diversity, multidisciplinary ecosystem, we’ve got all it takes to succeed “, said Debbie Zakaib, the super inspiring Executive Director of mmode, during our meet-up. And I agree 100% with her.
To highlight their initiative, I’ve put together a special little something for you. Not to boast or anything, but I’ve become somewhat of a reference in my work and friend circle when it comes to local fashion. I’ve therefore decided to create *tam-talalalaaammm* (sound of trumpets) the ULTIMATE DIRECTORY of all my favourite local brands: ready-to-wear, jewelry, leather goods, lingerie, everything!
I just want to clarify a couple of things before we get started: this list is totally and completely personal. Also, all the brands below are Quebec-based and 95% of them produce locally, but not all of them. Take a look at their website if you want to learn more about where they make their beautiful products.
I want to drink a bottle of wine around a wood fire dressed in Odeyalo’s comfy clothes until the end of time, but I also want the lifestyle that justifies wearing Markantoine 24/7. I’ve got a similar dilemma with all the other brands mentioned below.
Amanda Moss| Atelier B| Autre Riche| Betina Lou| De l’île| Éditions de Robes|Elisa C-Rossow| Eliza Faulkner| esser| Eve Gravel| Flavio| Leinad Beaudet| Les Enfants Sauvages| Marigold| Markantoine| Martel| .Mèche| Mercredes Morin|Noémiah| Odeyalo| Oneself | Rightful Owner| Robert Atelier| WRKDPT
Why wear a simple t-shirt when you can wear one upgraded with a printed poem or a silly drawing? Exception to the rule: Nil is all about minimalist clothing, entirely made here (the fabrics too!).
When jewelry makes you want to have an extra ear or arm implant just to wear more of it at the same time, you know you’re dealing with beautiful bling.
Alexandre Bergeron| Arc | Cartouche | Deux Lions | EMD | Gabrielle Desmarais | Horace | L’amoureuse | LLY Atelier | Maksym | Nina Nanas | ORA-C | Pauze Atelier | Pilar Agueci | This Ilk | Voilé | Well Dunn
HANDBAGS AND SHOES
Even if my life depended on it, I’m not sure I’d be able to pick one favourite accessory amongst all those gorgeous brands. You should know that some of them use real leather whereas some others are all about vegan options.
LINGERIE & SWIMWEAR
A bunch of companies exclusively run by women celebrating women’s bodies. What more could you ask for?
Let’s be honest, unless it’s Osheaga weekend, wearing a hat is still considered like a bold fashion move in Montreal. The time has come to get over ourselves and top off our beautiful upper body (or cover our dirty hair) with those amazing headpieces.
*This article was sponsored by the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster, but all opinions are mine.
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