A glimpse at Toronto-based designer Jennifer Torosian’s Spring 2017 line will leave you thirsting for warmer weather, or at least somewhere to bask in the sun. A fun tie-waist dress with a blue and purple, vaguely floral pattern and a flowing white dress that bares the wearer’s shoulders are ideal for frolicking in some fields or rediscovering the nature that’s been covered by frost and snow for months.
Torosian herself is an Ontario native who has studied at such elite fashion schools including Parsons, Central Saint Martins, and George Brown School. She gave us some insight into Toronto’s fashion culture and her brand.
How would you describe the Toronto fashion community?
The Toronto fashion community is very supportive of both local and national talent. There are many people in our city who have a great vision on where they see Toronto in the international fashion market. There have been some recent changes in the city involving fashion week, but there are new initiatives and opportunities that we have been a part of to showcase our most recent collections. Toronto has such a unique group of emerging talent right now; it is exciting to see what will happen next.
You have stockists around Canada, with a few coming soon. How did the relationships with these shops come about, and are there any that you’re particularly excited to work with?
We started our brand, Jennifer Torosian, four years ago. From the beginning, we were showing our collection to retailers at international trade shows and at private appointments. Now we have a national sales rep that is a great member of our team. She is very positive and really understands our ideas and aesthetic. Building relationships is all about consistency. As our brand grows, so does our outreach. We are excited in be in all our stockists. Most recently, we began working with La Maison Simons, a Canadian department store, which is passionate about supporting emerging Canadian designers.
Why did you decide to focus on sport-luxe clothing / what’s exciting about that market for you?
Jennifer Torosian is a women’s ready-to-wear brand built on the principles of utility, luxury and ease. The label is known for its sport-luxe aesthetic, focused on technical fabrics and streamlined silhouettes. We import our fabrics from Europe and manufacture in Canada. We decided to use techno fabrics in pieces that are appropriate for work or evening, which is unique to the market. Some qualities include slick finishes, special coating/washes and bonded jersey. The mix of the sport detailing in each garment has become our signature. Each piece has an element of surprise—whether it is custom ribbing, metal hardware, or a new fabric development.
Where’s the best fashion-spotting in Toronto / where can visitors scope out the city’s best dressed?
There are a few fashion-spotting places in Toronto. The Bloor-Yorkville area has a variety of luxury retailers, so that is a good place to start. A more downtown vibe can be found on Queen Street West, which is full of more independent retailers, great cafes, and parks. And Chinatown-Kensington Market is one of my favorite areas to go for lunch and see the locals.