Last week, Holt Renfrew Toronto hosted one of our very favourite up-and-coming designers, Stella Jean. The meet and greet was just one component of their “Italian Immersion” event (Holt’s way of putting the spotlight exclusively on their Italian brands).
Visitors of the second floor had the pleasure of seeing Stella’s stunning Spring/Summer ’15 collection first hand. As we were busy getting up close and personal with every flirty flounce and funky faunal print (while enjoying some delicious treats, of course), Stella was there to answer any and all questions.
I got to sit down with Stella for a minute (insert fangirl moment here) and asked her to tell me more about each piece. “It’s the first time I featured Haiti so prominently in a collection,” Stella explained when asked about the ethno-centric patterns and her source of inspiration which, by the way, aren’t solely based on her Haitian and Italian roots, “every season I go to a different part of Africa.” I then asked about her penchant for bringing out the best of these cultures to create such beautiful designs. “It’s more social than aesthetic,” she replied, matter-of-factly, “It’s more of a message; if I can integrate Haiti, Africa and Italy together in one collection like this, than we should be able to have open dialogue with no negativity and no prejudice.”
And this is why we love Stella (and the slew of other designers we can’t stop raving about around here), that one simple sentence; “It’s more social than aesthetic”. At the end of the day, beautiful clothes are just that – clothes. However, beautiful clothes with a purpose have the ability of opening so many more doors than those leading to your wardrobe; they have the ability to make waves, change lives and foster opportunities (things that we at KA hold nearest and dearest to our hearts).