Oh, Canadian fashion, how do we define you? What does it mean to be ‘Made in Canada’? And what is it really like to work in the fashion industry now that we’re having “a moment in the sun”? That high praise came from a New York Times article about this year’s Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards—the gala’s biggest iteration to date. And the NYT story was followed by an even more glowing Business of Fashion piece that referred to our homegrown talent as “visionaries.”
With this newfound spotlight in mind and a few days before we celebrate the country’s 150th, FLARE asked some of the most prominent Canadians working in fashion—both at home and internationally, or, more commonly, some combination of both—about what it’s like to make a living in the industry, what the rest of the fashion world thinks of Canada, and whether homegrown talent needs to move abroad to truly make it.
Click through the slideshow to find out why living in Canada is the only option for fashion bloggers Samantha and Cailli Beckerman (“When people hear we are Canadian, we get hugs!”) and why a “superstar salary” made celeb hairstylist Harry Josh leave Vancouver for New York.
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Hail from: Toronto
Home base: New York
Stephanie and Jake’s assessment: “We absolutely love the Canadian fashion industry and find ourselves in amazing company. The CAFA’s this past year were a great example of all the strong Canadian talent both in the country and that which has spread out into different parts of the globe. With brands like Erdem, Mackage, DSquared2 and Beaufille, to name just a few, it is clear there is a strong Canadian fashion industry and community.”
When commuting turns into relocation: “We are proudly Canadian and we created and launched Coveteur while we were living in Toronto. After four years, Coveteur turned into a full-fledged media company rather than just a website and we found ourselves constantly traveling to New York, where the majority of our clients are based. After exhausting ourselves, we decided to set up a New York-based office in addition to our official HQ in Toronto.”
The difference an office in New York makes: “To us, the biggest benefit is being able to put in more face time with many of our clients and shoot editorial content in a shorter amount of time, as well as hire editorial and sales teams with strong media backgrounds.”