Fashion can feel a little suffocating at times, with luxury brands swallowing the spotlight with mega-shows around the globe, but it’s always important to remember the emerging talent keeping the industry exciting with fresh creativity. We’ve taken a look at some of the best designers coming out of Canada, who all bring something unique to the table, from conceptual takes on uniforms, hand-knitted womenswear, and luxury leather accessories. Keep reading to find out who you need to add to your radar below.
If you don’t know Spencer Badu, then get to know. The Canadian-Ghanaian designer founded his eponymous label in 2015 and looks to uniform as a source of inspiration, where liberation is found through subtle alterations to the confines of uniformed dressing. Badu’s unique take on utilitarian dressing is seen through relaxed-fitting cargo trousers, layered waistband denim, zip-up track tops and bomber jackets. Spencer Badu campaigns take place in everyday spaces, including the streets of London, rooted in the sense of “youniformity” associated with the label, and we can’t get enough of it.
Founded in 2014 by Stephanie Sonya Ibbitson, Sonya Lee crafts elevated leather accessories rooted in the natural properties of the material. The brand looks to the gradual wearing of leather as a source of inspiration – a product that will age and shape with each use. Each of its bags is crafted from the highest quality leather and adorned with silver hardware, offering versatile pieces that will stand the test of time. If you’re in the market for a new bag, check out the Sonya Lee range.
Nena Hansen is a handmade label based out of Vancouver with a focus on upcycling and sustainable manufacturing practices. Conceptual takes on classic shirting are a Nena Hansen design staple, with cut-outs to the side, cinched detailing, and bungee adjustability, ensuring a bespoke fit worthy of a spot in anyone’s wardrobe. Available in a range of hues from lilac to olive, with a solid selection of stripes thrown in the mix, too, be sure to check this one out.
Based out of Ottawa, Kerotix is a relatively new brand on the block, making its debut in 2023. Its inaugural collection, titled “Endlessly Back to School,” saw monochrome red leather looks with rounded shoulders strut down the runway bursting with attitude and ties were worn anywhere but the neck. It played with deconstruction, reworked sports jackets into corseted two-pieces, and gave us some leather glove action for some added sexiness. We can’t wait to see what else these guys have in store.
Lolo Crochète has knitted up a storm since being founded in 2020, garnering notable wearers from the LA cool crowd, such as Emma Chamberlain. The brand hand knits each item in Montréal, and this attention to detail is seen across its varied product offering, which spans from bags to belts to knitted tops, floral accessories and balaclavas in an ever-increasing range of colours. Add this one to the list if you’re on the hunt for some belter knitwear. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Cover image: @spencerbadu
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