5 Questions With: Lorna Jane

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Responsible for creating “Activewear” as we know it today, Australian designer and entrepreneur Lorna Jane has been creating inspiring gym wear for women since the late 80s. Today, she’s a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Having inspired countless women to start sweating and look great while doing so, she is someone to look up to for active and healthy living. Lorna Jane recently opened her first flagship store in Vancouver and I had the opportunity to chat with her about her brand as well as her plans for 2017.

1) What inspired you to start the Lorna Jane brand?

My inspiration was really quite simple, but I guess unusual for the time. I wanted to design activewear that would inspire women to workout. My thoughts were that if I could make my designs both fashionable and technically functional, that women would put them on in the morning and wear them all day so that when an opportunity presented itself for her to workout she was ready to go! I was working as a fitness instructor at the time and there was absolutely nothing available for women that was anywhere near feminine and fashionable. So when I started wearing my designs to the gym, the women in my classes wanted to place orders – and it grew from there. The demand was overwhelming and within a few weeks I decided to take the plunge, quit my day job and pursue designing activewear full time, and you know what? I haven’t looked back since.

2) What would you say is the biggest change in activewear since you started in the industry?

I started designing activewear before it was even a ‘category’ so I’ve always had a very strong vision for it to be something so much more than what you put on to work out!  To me, the fact that sport luxe is now such a huge global trend is true testament to just how strongly activewear complements the modern woman’s busy lifestyle – and believe me when I say this is just the beginning! I am often asked if I ever would have believed that activewear could be such a huge category and my answer is always – “you’re kidding right – I have been talking about this for 25 years!”

3) What separates Lorna Jane from other activewear brands? 

We were the first to coin the term ‘activewear’ and are the ultimate believers that wearing activewear can actually change your life! At Lorna Jane, everything we do as a brand is aimed at inspiring and empowering women with our activewear, our Active Living Philosophy and daily practice of Move Nourish Believe. We are an Authentic brand that has heart and is on a mission to empower and inspire women all over the world. We believe that activewear can’t change the world – but the women that wear it absolutely can!

4) What are some of your proudest achievements with the brand to date?

There have honestly been so many, from winning Fashion awards, Marketing awards, Retail awards opening stores around the world and even meeting Oprah. But one of the moments that will stick with me forever was as far back as 1993, we had just l opened our first retail store in Australia and my husband Bill was working in store that day, while I stayed at home to design and sew the next range. I remember Bill walking through the front door long before closing time and I panicked, asking him “what was he doing? Who is looking after the store?” and he just smiled and said to me “Lorna, we’ve sold everything”.  And we actually HAD… a woman from Malaysia had walked in to the store and taken every single thing! That was a real turning point for us and when we realised this crazy idea of ‘activewear’ was so much bigger than we ever could have imagined.

5) Can you talk us through some of the new collections you’re releasing in 2017?

2017 is an exciting year for activewear. At Lorna Jane we have a big focus on Women’s Technical Fashion and are asking women to re-think their Active wardrobe this year more than any other! We deliver 70 to 100 new Lorna Jane pieces every month, and this month (Feb) we have a huge focus on ACTIVE CORE STABILITY our trademarked technology that will seriously change the way you see yourself in tights. They come in a variety of shapes and colours (so there’s something for everyone) but believe me when I say – they are seriously life changing. They’re the most flattering tights you’ll ever own because they shape and support your curves like nothing else in the marketplace. But they’re also really functional and the perfect workout essential.  

To find out more about Lorna Jane and her active living brand, go here.

5 Questions With: Hayley Elsaesser

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I first heard of Hayley Elsaesser through social media and the Sticks and Stones Agency in Australia. Hayley is a Canadian designer who now resides in Australia. She’s renown for her bold and beautiful prints. She’s been featured in countless magazine editorials and just recently, the always colorful Katy Perry, was seen sporting one of her designs. To me, her collections inspire magic and joy. I love that she is so creative and doesn’t stop herself from taking her designs to the next level. I love her overall vision and the collections she presents always have the raddest themes. This week’s Fall 2015 presentation at Wolrd MasterCard Fashion Week themed “Midnight Cowboy” was just as inspiring! I loved the snake prints and the southwestern vibe as well as the menswear pieces she presented. Hayley is one fierce designer and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have spoken to her immediately after the show this week. Here are my 5 Questions With Hayley Elsaesser:

1) What got you into fashion initially?

I’ve always been interested in fashion. I grew up in a small town where it was really hard to get cool clothes or what I wanted to wear, so I started making my own clothing. I was studying psychology and I was making clothes and selling them on eBay more than I was focusing on my studies. So I decided that I should probably do that as a career since that was what I was interested in. So then I moved to Australia and studied fashion in Australia.

2) What in your opinion makes a good print?

I think something that is bold and eye-catching. In my mind, I like the idea of something that mixes two opposites together or two things that you wouldn’t expect. Something that has dimension. 

3) For the Fall 2015 collection that you presented at World MasterCard Fashion Week this week in Toronto, you mentioned that it was a little bit darker than stuff you’ve designed previously…

I did menswear for the first time and I wanted it to be really cohesive, so I did it a little bit more masculine, not so feminine. Looking at my last collection, it was very much pastels and quite girly so this is a little bit more “cool tough girl”.

4) What are some of your must-haves for spring and summer?

I think overalls, that was one of my looks that was my favorites from my collection. Also I’ve just done a collaboration with MYNC (which is a makeup and eyelash extension line from Toronto) and it’s lipstick for Dress for Success. I love lipstick and I think that it’s a must-have because it’s going to the charity Dress for Successand I think it’s the perfect color for spring.

5) What’s next for Hayley Elsaesser?

Sleeping for a week and then I’ll reassess. I just need to relax. I haven’t slept this whole month, I’ve been in New York and London, so I just need to chill for a little bit! 

 

5 Questions With: Alex Mearing

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I recently fell in love with an Aussie designer named Alex Mearing after I saw one of her beautiful creations on Live FAST Magazine this spring – it was a silver sequined wedding dress (that you can see HERE!) that she had custom made for Ainsley Hutchence, the co-owner of Sticks & Stones Agency in Australia. There was just something magical about her design. In fact, I was so fascinated by the dress that I started looking up Alex and seeing what other beautiful things she had created. Not only does Alex make beautiful wedding dresses, she also makes tops, jackets and has an amazing collection of fierce pieces that you can find on her site. She will be launching a swimwear line called Klams in September, so keep your eyes peeled for that! I hope to one day be able to wear one of her lovely creations. Hope you’ll enjoy my 5 Questions With Alex Mearing:

1) What made you want to become a designer? When did you start your career?

I wanted to explore and express my style so it felt very natural to go into fashion. After I graduated school I moved from Noosa to study in Sydney and was able to find a job after doing some work experience for a small company. I learnt about design, production and the business. When an opportunity to become the designer for an equestrian label called Giddy Up Girl came up I was ready to take the job. I showed my first collection under my own name in 2012 and the brand has grown into a couture line, mostly creating alternative wedding dresses.

2) Who are your fashion icons?

Mary Kate Olsen and Ada Kokosar

And lately I can’t get enough of Rihanna…

3) Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

I think I absorb everything around me unconsciously. It may be a film, a personality, an era, it’s usually a lot of layers that create an idea.

4) Is Australia a good place to be for up and coming designers? Are there a lot of opportunities locally and across the country?

I think it’s important to have a plan to create opportunities. I love the way creative people are collaborating with each other and doing amazing work. The opportunities are limitless with apps like Instagram to connect with bloggers, models, photographers, stylists and inspiring people all over the world. I recently made a wedding dress for a woman in London who found me on Instagram, which I found really exciting.

5) What have been some of your biggest achievements thus far in your career?

Recently I made a wedding dress for Ainsley Hutchence from Sticks and Stones Agency for her elopement in Las Vegas. You can check out the editorial shot by Jenneke Storm here: http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2014/01/epic-las-vegas-elopement-ainsley-sebestien/

5 Questions With: Kim Churchill

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I first met Kim Churchill, I believe it was 5 years ago now (already!) during Canadian Music Week in March in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel. At the time, I was working for Indica Records doing marketing, publicity, artist development, etc. My boss had heard of Kim, the Aussie guitar prodigy and one-man-band who at the time was still in his teens. He was interested in potentially signing him, so I was asked to check out one of his shows during the festival. From the first time I saw him play, I was floored. What a voice, what a presence and energy and what a wonderful storyteller. I was lucky enough to be a part of the start of Kim’s career in Canada, spending time driving him to shows, helping him at festivals with interviews and so on. One of my favorite memories from working with Kim was kayaking with him and Elmo, his right-hand man at the time, before one of his shows at O’Soleil Bar in Lac St-Jean. Kim’s career has grown exponentially since, so I was really stoked to get to ask him a few questions about his upcoming third record and also about his second passion and one of mine – surfing!

1 – Your third effort Silence Win is out on April 1st, in a few words, how would you summarize this record and your recording experience in Ucluelet?

KIM: It was the first time I think I have really matured to the point of approaching it calmly. In the past I have had such a strong desire to succeed. Sometimes this could really inhibit me. Ucluelet definitely helped relax and find a calm place to let the music just out. The whole thing just unfolded with complete ease and joy. I think its so lovely when these things happen.

2 – What do you want people to feel as they’re listening to Silence Win?

KIM: Interesting question. I don’t know that I ever personally focus on what people will feel. I focus on correctly transferring my own emotions and humanity into the music and then leave it for each person’s individual interpretation. On a basic level, I hope they enjoy it and find a solace.

3 – How does surfing and music complement each other?

KIM: Well I think that surfing is a very exciting way of being physical. It also involved a lot of trust in yourself and the ocean. The ocean is a very dangerous beast and I it a great metaphor for life in general. It can throw you around, nearly drown you or sweep you into the unknown in seconds. It involves a fair bit of trust to put yourself at its mercy, but through surfing I find the ultimate joy that is worth the risk. I think often my music reflects this process.

4 – What has busking, surfing and traveling around the world taught you about yourself and life over the past couple of years?

KIM: Busking has been a wonderful teacher of humility. I continue to do it partly for that reason. It’s also funded all of my overseas touring in the beginning and was the best way to rehearse my material to a nice cross section of people. Travelling has really inspired me. It feeds my songwriting. I find works in a wonderful cyclical way, as playing those songs then allows me to travel. This is a brilliant process I am always grateful for.

5 – What is your most magical surf spot?

KIM: Ha, too many to think of really. There are so many incredible little secrets and places I have been moved by. Angourie in Australia holds a really strong place in my heart. Its where I have recorded a bunch of my material. Some parts of Mexico have been very kind to me also. 

Thanks Kim! Wishing you the utmost success with this new record. Can’t wait to shred some waves with you one day in Australia. Cheers mate!

Holiday Monday #DailyOutfit

 

How spoiled were we today? We had the best weather in Toronto!

Started off this magnificent day with a nice lakefront run with my partner in crime @offneraurelien. He’s a great running partner!

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Following our run, we grabbed a late lunch on the patio of the Drake Hotel. Always good food and good drinks at the Drake. We continued our day with a little ballad along Queen west and I stopped by Jacflash to grab a brand new One Teaspoon Superman Bodice bikini for my upcoming vacation in California. I’ve been seeing the bikini pop up on my instagram feed and needed to get one for myself. I love the cut, the straps and the hot pink is adorable! Can’t wait to rock it in Venice (not surfing in this though ;))!

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We finished off our walk with a little stop by Bellwoods, which was even more packed than usual. No surprise here! All in all, another fabulous day! Stoked for our vacation next week but also really enjoying the weather in the city. Now… movie night?!

Happy to finally be wearing shorts today! For my outfit, I mixed shades of blue, florals and also black and gold accessories. Love stacking two of my favorite necklaces: the Biko Colby necklace & the Uranium Sign necklace.

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Forever 21 Bleached demin vest (get it here)

H&M neon blue cuffed shorts (similar ones here)

H&M floral tee (similar one here)

Biko Neon Blue Colby necklace (get it here)

Uranium Signal necklace from Spring Summer 2013 collection 

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 etched Geo cuff set (get it here)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

Steve Madden Madhouse Stud Strap Ankle Boots

 

 

Date night #DailyOutfit

Today I’m heading to Mont Tremblant for a relaxing long weekend. Stoked to be flying with Porter Airlines (those who know me, know that I always talk about them) and spending time at the Scandinave Spa in between skiing sessions.

Because today is a travel day, I’ve decided to post my outfit from my Valentine’s Day dinner last night. I recently won a lovely contest organized by the Pomp & Pageantry shop located in Yorkville. I was the lucky winner of an amazing dress from Australian designer Wish. I decided to wear it last night for the first time. I paired that with my studded Zara boots and a few gold accessories. I had a lovely dinner at George last night. They made a special vegetarian menu just for me. I’m truly felt like a princess yesterday!

Wishing you a lovely Friday & Happy long weekend! xo

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Wish black leather dress

Zara gold stud high heel boots

VERAMEAT gold brass Heart with Arrow Ring

H&M Gold cuff