Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Fashion Jobs – 5 Cool Ways to Wear Polka Dots

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canada

Polka dots have forever held a place in our closets, sometimes in the spotlight or by taking a backseat as a retro ’60s flashback. Just like stripes, it’s a chic Parisian way to sport a cheeky print as it oozes cool girl street style. The classic print has moved on from being a simple modest button down and has been recaptured as a timeless print amongst men and women in a wide range of designs. From silk dresses to bright pops of colour, here are our favorite polka dot styles to inspire your next shopping trip!

polka dot print

Print x Print
There’s nothing more polished then a fluid print on print look, making your wardrobe choice that much easier. Polka dots are one of the easier prints to play with because you can mix small polka dots with larger ones as long as you stick to one colour scheme, leaving you with a look that’s both effortless and classy. 

polka dot printxx

Shop the Look: House of Harlow 1960 Bree Top, $140, available at Revolve

polka dot color good

Experimenting with colour is a fun way to show your own personal style while wearing polka dots. Trying a bold red or a soft pink is feminine and versatile enough to wear under a blazer or a flirty dress for a night out.

polka dot dress revolve

Shop the Look: Sioness Caliente Dress, $79, available at Lioness

polka dot rufflesRomantic Ruffles
There’s something sexy about a woman wearing ruffles, especially in delicate textures. A ruffled blouse in a silk fabric is a great alternative to the classic button down collar blouse and makes a statement with just a simple red lip and a pair of jeans.

polka dot top mangoShop the Look: Polka Dot Flowy Blouse, $70, available at Mango

polka dot bottomBottoms
With the many pant trends available to try, polka dots are definitely at the top the list. There are a wide variety of styles from denim slacks to silk pajama pants and we must say, they are the most fun to wear. A wide leg pant in the print is a chic way to ease into polka dots as you can mute the print with a solid top.

oscar dela renta polka dotsShop the Look: Oscar De La Renta Printed Polka Dot Pants, $567, available at Net-a-Porter

polka dot accessoriesAccessories
We love a cool retro accessory that livens up an outfit whether a platform shoe, a scarf, or a bag. Polka dots are the perfect way to add a playful and vintage touch to an outfit while still being modern and cool.

polka dot shoesShop the Look: Charlotte Olympia Iiona Polka Dot Mules, $365, available at Saks Fifth Avenue


Inspiration Image
Image courtesy of The Zoe Report


Product Info:
1. Inspiration image courtesy of The Fashion Tag
2. House of Harlow 1960 Bree Top, $140, available at Revolve
3. House of Harlow 1960 Gwen Culotte, $162, available at Revolve
4. Street Style image courtesy of Vogue Arabia
5. Lioness Caliente Dress, $79, available at Lioness
6. Miroslava Duma, image courtesy of Where To Get It
7. Polka Dot Flowy Blouse, $70, available at Mango
8. Street Style image provided by Raghunter
9. Oscar De La Renta Printed Polka Dot Pants, $567, available at Net-a-Porter
10. Camille Rowe, image courtesy of Vogue
11. Charlotte Olympia Iiona Polka Dot Mules, $365, available at Saks Fifth Avenue


By Ivana Pavkovic, Toronto, @iforeveronvacation

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Fashion Jobs – Men’s Fashion: The Underrated Gladiator Sandal

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canada

Summer is here once again and it’s all about staying cool and comfortable – at least for most people. Fashionistas not only emphasize the importance of convenience but also style during the season. Sandals, in particular, have become staple pieces for the feet, however, men always seem to disregard their style potential.

If you don’t have a problem with flaunting your feet in a pair of traditional summer flip-flops, why not flaunt them in style in a pair of hip gladiator sandals instead? After all, they add a pinch of chic to a laid-back summer outfit and could be considered plus points for the ladies! But what is it about these sandals that make them omitted by men? Is it the somewhat “Babylonian” look? Or the seemingly unnecessary numerous straps?  Whatever the reason, men should not be ashamed to wear this fashion forward footwear. Gladiator sandals are not only chic, but they are also extremely versatile. Here are three ways to rock them without worrying about looking too “primitive”.

 3. Zara Gladiator Sandal2. Zara Gladiator Sandal

Look 1: Sandals and Pants

One of my favourite summers looks, that you can never go wrong with is the sandals and pants combo. Linen or cotton pants are great summer pieces to ensure compromise between comfort and style. The sandals greatly complement the pants giving the overall outfit the summer vibe it needs.

Shop the look: Leather sandals with brown and orange straps, $69.90, available at Zara.

5. Birkenstocks4. Birkenstocks

Look 2: Sandals with Shorts

Of the three looks, the sandals and shorts combo would be the most acknowledgeable. Apart from keeping the legs and feet conveniently exposed to the summer breeze, shorts are also a major seasonal go-to piece for men. Jean shorts or shorts with prints tend to meld well with gladiator sandals.

Shop the look: Arizona, $125, available at Birkenstock.

7. Teva socks with sandals6. Teva

Look 3: Sandals with Socks

“Why the socks?” they would ask. It may seem like an awkward combination, but socks with sandals is actually an emerging trend. The look is a mix of preppy with an added twist of minimalism. To those who are fashionably ambitious, the look is often regarded as avant-garde and innovative. Perhaps, it could also help protect the feet from mosquitoes?

Shop the look:  Original Universal, $65, available at Teva.

Inspirational Images:

Image courtesy of:

  1. Pelayo Diaz (@princepelayo) for Kate Loves Me
  2. Josh Johnson (@thekentuckygent) for The Kentucky Gent
  3. Eugenie Gray (@feralcreature) for Teva Collect Blog

Product info:

  1. Leather sandals with brown and orange straps, $69.90, available at Zara.
  2. Arizona, $125, available at Birkenstock.
  3. Original Universal, $65, available at Teva.

By: Franz Tabora, Mississauga, @phranzzzz

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Fashion Jobs – Q&A with Vegan Leather Handbag Designer Silvia Gallo of jeane & jax

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Silvia Gallo Inspo Image

It’s always refreshing when you learn about an individual that’s disrupting the fashion industry for a good reason. Silvia Gallo is the owner of jeane & jax, a Montreal-based vegan handbag line that encompasses the importance of cruelty-free fashion and is a PETA approved vegan brand and a partner in the movement of shifting the focus from leather to vegan leather. Her stunning collection offers consumers a higher end alternative to animal leather and is quickly becoming popular with both Canadian and American consumers. We had the opportunity to meet with Silvia and see her collection firsthand, and also learn about the ins and outs of launching a business and why she is so passionate about cruelty-free fashion. 

SNTF: Silvia, you’ve worked in the retail industry for over 15 years. Can you first tell us about those early years of your career?

SG: With a B.Com in Marketing and a DEC in Fashion Design, I knew I wanted to work in the Fashion Industry and combine both fields of study.  My first position after graduating was as a Brand Manager for Baby Phat Canada. At the time, Baby Phat and Phat Farm were very popular brands and I was honoured to have the opportunity of working for such a successful company. It was the first step in my career that allowed me to learn about buying, importing, selling, advertising, trade shows, distribution, and more. As a brand manager, you are involved with everything to do with the brand, which in turn gives you a good understanding of the business as a whole.

SNTF: When did you realize that you were ready to venture on your own and start your own handbag line?

SG: After many years in the industry working for reputable brands, building networks, travelling, gaining knowledge and experience, I felt that my career had reached a plateau. I felt there was no longer any personal or career growth left working for other companies. I not only felt ready to start my own business but felt more determined and empowered than ever before! 

SNTF: Your collection, jeane & jax, is a vegan handbag line that encompasses the importance of cruelty-free fashion at an attainable price point. How did you know this was the right project for you, and how did you set about starting your own business? 

SG: There are many professions that allow you to make a difference in this world, save lives, or help people. Throughout my career in the fashion industry, which can sometimes be materialistic, it wasn’t always easy for me to measure what my contribution to society was. When I decided to start my own business, it was important for me to do something that could make a positive impact.

1.Jeane & Jax

Cruelty-free fashion will continue to be important and I am happy to offer consumers a higher end alternative to animal leather. Traditionally branded handbags have always been made out of real leather and are very expensive. I wanted to show consumers that you can have a high- quality handbag at a reasonable price, without causing harm to animals.

SNTF: Can you tell us about the materials you use and the importance of being PETA approved?

SG: We only use the highest quality polyurethane on the market and never use PVC. Our PU is the closest fabric to real leather, matching it in terms of durability, water resistance and aesthetics. It also has microfiber pores making it breathable and supple. Technology in fabric has come a long way and it is becoming harder for consumers to tell the difference between real and vegan leather.  In addition, all our hardware is custom made to ensure that there is no lead or toxic materials in our metals.

It’s important for us to be PETA-approved as it shows our customers credibility and gives consumers reassurance about our product. We are proud to align ourselves with organizations that support our movement to shift consumers to vegan products rather than animal based ones.

2. Jeane & Jax

SNTF: We know that no two days are the same for an entrepreneur. But can you give our readers an idea of what your day looks running your own brand.

SG: As an entrepreneur, I am involved in everything to do with the brand and business, which means no two days are the same, as you mentioned. One day could be spent designing a new collection or planning a photo shoot and the next could be arranging the shipment of a container or preparing sales tax returns. It pretty much depends on what needs to be prioritized on each given day. Some days are creative and others are analytical. I love that I get to use both sides of my brain!

SNTF: Did you have any obstacles while launching your business? Anything you would never do again?

SG: The biggest challenge in launching a new brand is to create awareness and visibility without having the big marketing budget that existing brands have. It takes time to become recognized yet it is human nature to want immediate results. There is a lesson to be learned in everything you do and unless you live through it, you cannot learn from it. That is the same in business and for that reason; there is nothing I wouldn’t do again.

3. Jeane & Jax

SNTF: How do you see jeane & jax evolving over time? What’s the next thing you’d like to accomplish with the brand?

SG: There are many exciting developments in the works for jeane & jax and look forward to sharing them with you in the future.

SNTF: Given that you have a background in marketing and brand management, how have these experiences helped you run and grow your brand?

SG: My background in marketing and brand management was definitely crucial in my ability to start and run my own business. Having the opportunity to manage other brands in the past, allowed me to work in all facets of the industry, giving me a solid foundation to build upon. No matter which company I worked for, I always made decisions as though it was my own, and every brand I represented became a part of my lifestyle. This was all in preparation for what I feel I was meant to do!

4. jeane & Jax

SNTF: When you were growing up, were there any people who influenced your approach to work? What was the best advice you got early in your career?

SG: My father is the person who has influenced and inspired me the most. As an entrepreneur, he taught me resilience, strength to persevere, and especially how to “hustle.” No matter how hard it was, or how tired he was, he never skipped a beat!

The best advice I received is don’t wait for the right opportunities to come to you. You need to create your own opportunities in life. Nothing will just fall into your lap…go out there and make it happen! 

SNTF: And finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What’s next for your career? 

SG: I wake up looking forward to every new day and all the possibilities it can bring. I am inspired by opportunities and always ready for a new challenge! I recently partnered with Valerie Munger, a colleague from my past; to launch a new brand called MATLETIK, which focuses on active wear for moms-to-be. It has already been gaining great reviews and is distributed in active wear and maternity stores across Canada. We recently won 1st prize for the province of Quebec in an entrepreneurship contest. Excited to see what the future brings for both jeane & jax and MATLETIK!

To stay up-to-date with Silvia’s journey and to learn more about jeane & jax make sure to follow her on Instagram or check out her website.

By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

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Fashion Jobs – Our Favourite Summer Festival Accessories

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaMJ Inspo Image

We live for a good party, especially when it’s outdoors in the summer with some of our favourite food, musicians, and friends. Festival season is jam packed into a few months and although we might already be mid-way, there are still a bunch of day parties, festivals and outdoor events to conquer! If you’re like us, these summer events give you a chance to play dress up and get creative with our outfits. We live for fun yet functional pieces, so we put together our must-have festival accessories.


Rock ‘N’ Roll

If you’re a seasoned festival attendee, you know that a backpack is on the top of the list of must-have items. Who really wants to dance the day away holding onto something? This small leather studded backpack from Zara is the perfect size for all your essentials like your keys, water, phone and wallet (and won’t leave much room for your unprepared friend’s items). It’s also convertible and its straps can be adjusted to a crossbody bag, perfect for those after parties!

Shop the Look: Studded Leather Backpack, $89.90, available at Zara


Dad and Boujee

Another important item to surviving a full day of fun in the sun is a hat and the authority in headwear in Toronto Brimz has you covered. Still going strong, everyone needs to own a least one dad hat and we thought this Migos Dad Hat was a perfect fit for a summer rooftop party or music festival.

Shop the Look: Migos Dad Hat, $45, available at BRIMZ


Festival Footwear 101

Shoes can both make or break your day and outfit, so finding something that’s stylish yet comfortable is important. We say stick with a sneaker like these white ones from Topshop, perfect to wear with denim shorts or midi dress! With padded insoles and just over an inch platform these shoes will keep you dancing all day long.

Shop the Look: Topshop Commander Flatform Sneaker, $50, available at Hudson’s Bay


Hands-Free Fun

Who wants to be held back by a purse, or worry about your money and ID falling out of your pockets while jamming to your favourite DJ set? These shoulder holsters by LD West might just be your saving grace. Available in a variety of styles and colours, these holsters include a wallet and pouch along with a cellphone pouch in select phone model fits. LD West straps are loved by hairstylists, tattoo artist and bartenders alike along with bloggers and anyone who just wants to be a little more hands-free.

Shop the Look: Cell Phone Leather Shoulder Holsters, from $89.99, available at LD West



Private Party

You’ve probably seen them while scrolling through your Instagram Feed, the Private Party brand is viral apparel brand loved by bloggers, Instagrammers and even Khloé Kardashian. Their iconic one-piece bathing suit with cheeky lyrics, slang and other written quotes doubles as the best bodysuit every. You can also customize your own quote, so get your girl gang together and get creative!

Shop the Look: Worst Behaviour Swimsuit, $99, available at Private Party

Inspiration Image:

Image courtesy of Kaya Seah of Not Your Standard

Product Info:

1. Studded Leather Backpack, $89.90, available at Zara

2. Migos Dad Hat, $45, available at BRIMZ

3. Topshop Commander Flatform Sneaker, $50, available at Hudson’s Bay

4. Cell Phone Leather Shoulder Holsters, from $89.99, available at LD West

5. Worst Behaviour Swimsuit, $99, available at Private Party

By M.J. Elle, Toronto,@TheMJElle

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Fashion Jobs – Trend Alert: Tassels, Fringe, and Pompoms

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaFranz Inspo Image


Put the loud prints aside and embrace a new trend that has been a hot talk amongst fashion addicts! In the recent years, tassels, fringe, and pompoms have become popular embellishments to clothing and accessories, reminiscing the classic styles of the past but still embodying a fashion forward statement.

Luxury brands such as Versace, Gucci, and Balmain have adhered to this trend, boosting its popularity via the endorsements of many A-list celebrities including Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and the Kardashians.

Eventually, the expanse of the styles has become tremendous, allowing popular brands such as Forever 21, H&M, and Zara to fuse these “danglers” into their collections. Stay chic by getting your hands on these affordable pieces!

Screen shot 2017-07-11 at 10.54.12 AM

2. Tassels Zara


French fashion house Balmain makes great use of this style in most of their pieces. Not only do tassels make clothing and accessories stand out heavily, but they also project a high level of sophistication that immediately induce conversations amongst style enthusiasts.  Pieces with tassels are appropriate for dressy occasions or if you’re ambitious, in the office. Accessories with tassels are more versatile and can be worn practically anytime.

Shop the look: Tassel Trim Self-Tie Top, $30.90, available at Forever 21 and Parka with tassels, $89.90, available at Zara

3. fringed sweater

4. Fringe Skirt


A prevalent style of the ‘70s, fringe is back to “swish” those monotonous outfit days! Rock this style with minimal pieces to tone down the potential “costume-y” vibe but still look fresh and professional in the eyes of commons. Similar to tassels, fringe can be worn to intimate dinners or formal events throughout the day.

Shop the look: Fringed sweatshirt, $15.90, available at Zara and Fringed hem skirt, $39.99, available at Zara

5. Pompom shirt 6. Pompom bag


Of the three styles, pompoms definitely take the cake for being the most adorable! They have not only become popular to adults but also to young fashion goers. However, don’t let the cute style fool you – models have fiercely rocked pompoms on notable runway shows! Pompom-embellished pieces can be worn for daytime gatherings or even at the beach.

Shop the look: Chasym Linen Top, $119, available at Club Monaco and JADEtribe Basket Mini Pom Bag, $149.22, available at Shopbop

Inspirational image:

Image courtesy of Daniel Kim (@walkingcanucks) for Coveteur

Product info:

1. Tassel Trim Self-Tie Top, $30.90, available at Forever21

2. Parka with tassels, $89.90, available at Zara

3. Fringed sweatshirt, $15.90, available at Zara 

4. Fringed hem skirt, $39.99, available at Zara

5. Chasym Linen Top, $119, available at Club Monaco

6. JADEtribe Basket Mini Pom Bag, $149.22, available at Shopbop

By: Franz Tabora, Mississauga, @phranzzzz

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – Trend Alert: Gingham

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canada


Now that summer 2017 is well underway, we wanted to take a serious look at the trends that are popping up everywhere — from the streets to the feeds of our favourite fashionistas and street style stars — and one trend we couldn’t help but love is gingham. It not only gives us a feeling of nostalgia — instantly reminding us of our childhood, but it also looks flattering on all body types, especially if you’re not a fan of summer stripes. Regardless of your taste or price point, there’s a gingham piece suitable for everyone! Get on the gingham bandwagon with one (or all) of these summer picks.

1. gingham bathingsuit

The Bather

When you’re not lounging at the pool or beach, a gingham printed bathing suit can easily be worn with a pair of high-waisted pants for an on-trend look.

Shop the look: Warehouse Bardot Ruffle Gingham Swimsuit, $64, available at ASOS

2. Gingham shoes

The Shoes

A pair of gingham printed shoes is perfect for those who don’t want to fully commit to the gingham style. We can’t get enough of these ankle-wrap heeled sandals; they are far too chic to stay hidden under long pants, so make sure to wear them with a flirty summer dress or skirt.

Shop the look: Sam Edelman Odele gingham canvas sandals, $120, available at Net-a-Porter

3. Gingham Playsuit

The Playsuit

Nothing reminds us more of summer than a cheeky gingham playsuit. Perfect for a picnic or BBQ, you’ll stay cool in this playsuit with its Bardot style top and cropped ankle.

Shop the look: ASOS Off Shoulder Jumpsuit with Tie Sleeve in Gingham, $56, available at ASOS

4. Gingham top

The Top

Here you’ve got all of summer’s top trends covered with just one piece: gingham and off the shoulder. This top can be dressed up with a pair of white cropped or flared jeans and heels or down with a pair of denim cut offs and mules.

Shop the look: ASOS Cold Shoulder Tie Cami, $45, available at ASOS

5. Gingham Dress

The Dress

A curve-hugging gingham dress is definitely a wardrobe staple you’ll wear for summers to come.  This blue gingham print is perfect for those who aren’t a fan of the traditional black and white gingham style.

Shop the look: J.Crew Smocked off-the-shoulder gingham beach dress, $104.50, available at J.Crew

6. Gingham Pants

The Pants

Ditch your traditional work pants and opt for a pair of stylish gingham trousers! These cropped skinny pants have a flattering fit and can be dressed up with your favourite heels or down with a pair of flats.

Shop the look: Altuzarra Henri gingham cotton-blend skinny pants, $398, available at Net-a-Porter

Inspirational Image:

Image courtesy of Kayla Seah of Not Your Standard

Product Info:

1. Warehouse Bardot Ruffle Gingham Swimsuit, $64, available at ASOS

2. Sam Edelman Odele gingham canvas sandals, $120, available at Net-a-Porter

3. ASOS Off Shoulder Jumpsuit with Tie Sleeve in Gingham, $56, available at ASOS

4. ASOS Cold Shoulder Tie Cami, $45, available at ASOS

5. J.Crew Smocked off-the-shoulder gingham beach dress, $104.50, available at J.Crew

6. Altuzarra Henri gingham cotton-blend skinny pants, $398, available at Net-a-Porter

By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – 5 Sneakers Men Need On Their Radar This Season

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaCarly Inspo Image

Now that the warm summer weather is finally here to stay, it’s time to toss your old, worn-out shoes and make room for some slicker options. Sleek sneakers are here to stay and at Style Nine To Five, we’re here to help you accommodate yourself with the hottest new trends to breach the fashion world of men’s footwear. Whether you’re looking for an office-approved sneaker, something wear when you venture on evenings out or simply something for meeting up with friends to grab a bite to eat, here are the top five sneakers you need to keep an eye out for this season.

1. Yeezy


The Laidback Streetwear

You’ve probably seen these sneakers in every fashion blogger’s articles from NYC to TO.  These are the hype sneakers that keep finding their way back into your timelines. Despite the hefty price tag, Kanye West’s flagship design collaboration with Adidas has surely made an impact on men’s streetwear. The newly designed Adidas Yeezy Powerhouse “Calabasas” looks perfect when paired with a straight leg dress pant or green, tan or maroon chinos on casual days.

2. Ted Baker

The Dress Shoe Sneaker
This Ted Baker low-rise leather sneaker gives off a polished yet edgy look for men and is perfect for those who are not a fan of colours. The detailed trim of the shoe gives off simplicity but sophistication for every scheduled meeting you may have this week! It’s the best of both worlds, comfortability and style all in one shoe. If you don’t prefer black, this shoe is also available in tan, light brown, and red. Pair these shoes with a pair of tailored shorts and button-up short sleeve for the hot work days.

3. Mesh

The Athletic Sneaker

This sneaker is made with a lightweight mesh material that is perfect for the high temperatures that will be rising throughout the work day.  If you want to wear an office-appropriate sneaker but want to get some comfortability in your step, this Deross sneaker will be it. Pair these kicks with a black or white long sleeve button-up and cuffed jeans or navy trousers.

4. Slip-on

The Slip-On and Go Sneaker

If you’re a no shoelaces kind of guy and prefer not having to worry about your laces coming undone throughout the busy workday then these Vince Conway slip-ons are meant for you.  These slip-on sneakers are best paired with a straight leg pant denim or tailored and cuffed at the ankles to keep extra cool this season.

5. Vans

The Hi-Top Sneaker

Believe it or not, but Vans were first released almost 40 years ago, but they’ve never been cooler than they are today. These hi-top sneakers will add a vintage vibe to your workwear, whatever you decide to wear that day. These sneakers are definitely more appropriate for casual days or to a BBQ with some close friends!


Inspiration Image:
Inspiration image courtesy of Matt G Style


Product Info:
1. Adidas Yeezy Powerhouse “Calabasas”, $250, available at
2. London Ted Baker, Kiing Classic Sneaker, $271.31, available at Nordstorm
3. Deross Sneaker, $180,76, available at Nordstorm
4. Vince Conway Slip-on, $312.85, available at Nordstorm
5. Vans Sk8-Hi Sneaker, $104.21, available at Nordstorm


By: Carly Brascoupé, Toronto, @carlyyr0se


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Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – Q&A With Julie Buczkowski & Angela Pastor of Studio Fitzroy Dress Rentals

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaQ&A Inspiration Image

If you haven’t heard of Studio Fitzroy, we are positive you will be heading there right after this interview. Best friends since kindergarten, Julie Buczkowski and Angela Pastor decided to make a change from their routine jobs in television to become their own bosses.


Over the course of many lunches constructing a business plan to vacations used for buying trips, the foundation of Fitzroy Boutique began with the support of their eclectic personal style and envious travel adventures. Nestled in the trendy Dundas and Ossington neighbourhood, where some of the city’s most diverse restaurants and bars, eclectic shops, and a multicultural blend of tenants’ call home, Studio Fitzroy Dress Rentals and their many beautiful frocks hold a permanent residency at 1227 Dundas Street West.


SNTF recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Fitzroy Girl Bosses to learn about the company’s evolution, where it’s headed and what it takes to run a fashion company.

1. Fitzroy Image

SNTF: So ladies, what was your motivation for starting a business?


JB & AP: Ultimately, we wanted to be our own bosses and create something that was ours and took sole responsibility for. We both love fashion, but we wanted to have the type of lifestyle where we called the shots and sculpted our own business into a brand that can evolve and grow with us. There is no better feeling than making our own schedule and being a part of a creation from the ultimate beginning and watching where it takes us.


SNTF: How did Fitzroy become to be, and what were your goals?


AP: Once upon a time I lived in New Zealand and discovered all these cool, eclectic Australian brands before they were known like they are today. There is such a wide variety of shops in this area in Melbourne called Fitzroy which would be comparable to our Queen Street and Ossington area of Toronto where there is everything for everyone. So we named our shop after the shopping district because the majority of the lines we wanted to carry were Australian labels.


We truly wanted to bring something to Toronto that you wouldn’t be able to find here and many of them weren’t available in the city. We discovered at the time, there were many high-end fashion boutiques and retailers as well as the Zara’s and H&Ms, but not a selection of in between. We decided our price points would always be under $200 in order for our pieces to be accessible to everyone without breaking the bank.


SNTF: How has your goal/vision changed since you started?


JB & AP: We started as a pop-up shop to bring a distinctive and novel element to our business in Toronto. As a startup company, it also helped us eliminate the overhead cost of a permanent space and allowed us to test the various markets Toronto has to offer.


Within the five years of Fitzroy Boutique, there were challenges we had to face like high rental costs and the growth of competition. We had many bloggers and media companies inquire about borrowing dresses and we thought about the idea of renting them. We tested it out with a few racks of clothing and customers kept coming back and just walking in for the rentals. So three racks turned to five and quickly the majority of the store was rental racks. It’s more economical, a great way to wear a designer gown for less, and in our social media culture, you don’t want to be photographed in the same dress twice.


SNTF: What inspires your own personal styles?


JB & AP: Street style fashion. Angela is more of a tomboy and has a cool look all the time. She takes risks with blending different vintage pieces together with her own aesthetic and always results in an eye-catching outfit. I [Julie] on the other hand, am more feminine and flirty. I like mixing pretty pieces whether a top or skirt but have to throw in an edgy twist of something. We always stuck to what we liked and it’s what we relied on when picking pieces for the shop. We came to realize what the Canadian customer likes, but with rentals, you can be more adventurous and our client takes the opportunity to be more willing to take risks.


SNTF: What makes Fitzroy different in Toronto?


JB & AP: Our eye and what we pick is what makes us stand out. We always went with the motto “All Killer No Filler,” so every single piece we have picked is special and unique, not a “filler.”  We want our clients to look and touch every item and see how detailed they are and why we picked them. You can get something simple anywhere, but we provide items that are memorable and custom to the needs and wants of our Fitzroy girl. We want every dress to be where the girl feels amazing. With the rentals, we love that we get women who are renting for happy occasions that are meaningful in their lives. Remembering the special day will make you reminisce on the dress as well. We feel there is good energy in all the dresses.

3. Fitzroy

SNTF: What advice would you give to those looking to start their own business?


JB & AP: If you have an idea just start from there. It is overwhelming, a lot of work, and there are plenty of ups and downs, but if you just start a plan or talk to someone who is already experiencing it, it all helps.  Once you gain momentum on the small beginning parts you will accomplish so many of your goals and ultimately decide how you want the business to reflect you.


SNTF: Where do you see the company in five years?


JB & AP: We see ourselves being the Uber of dress rentals. That is what we want for Fitzroy. We want to be across Canada, have locations country wide, and eventually create a platform where it will be easy for our customer to pick, choose, and rent our dresses. Our love for fashion is what makes us want every woman to be able to experience wearing a designer dress and feel good for every occasion.


4. Fitzroy


You can stay up to date with Studio Fitzroy Dress Rentals and all the fabulous new frocks coming into the shop by visiting their website and following them on Instagram.


All images courtesy of Studio Fitzroy Boutique


By Ivana Pavkovic, Toronto, @iforeveronvacation


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Fashion Jobs – Q&A With Suzy Yahya

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

ST95-ADSSuzy Yahya

Suzy Yahya is a Toronto-based jewellry designer that men and women need to get on their radar. She is the owner and designer of Expectancy Rings, a line of affordable luxury rings for expectant mothers and fathers to celebrate, announce and commemorate the expected arrival of their newborn. SNTF recently had the opportunity to chat with Suzy and learn about the ins and outs of running a jewellry business and what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

1. Rings

SNTF: So Suzy, can you first tell us a bit about the years before launching your jewellery line Expectancy Rings and what led you to start a career in the entrepreneurial world.


SY: After graduating from the Fashion Arts program at Humber College, I worked in wholesale, retail and buying before I launched my own online boutique, Shop Wanderlust, in 2013. The boutique, which I ran for over three years, sold beautiful clothing and accessories from talented independent designers all over the world.

Then I decided to expand my love of fashion into the bridal world and became a consultant at luxury bridal boutique White Toronto, which is where I was inspired to launch Expectancy Rings!

 2. Blue Rings

SNTF: Did you always have the entrepreneurial bug? When did you know it was time to take the plunge and start your own business? How did you know that Expectancy Rings was the idea to go with?


SY: Working on something I’m truly passionate about has always been important to me – it’s what led me to start my own boutique and eventually Expectancy Rings.


We all know the significance of engagement rings, wedding bands and even wedding gowns to mark two very important events in a person’s life – engagement and marriage. But I realized that there wasn’t an equally special way to announce and commemorate the next most precious and life-changing event – pregnancy. I developed Expectancy Rings to fill this void and to help expectant mothers and fathers announce a pregnancy and more specifically, the gender of their baby.

 3. Fashion Incubator

SNTF: Prior to launching your business, how much knowledge did you have of the luxury jewellery industry?


SY: Surprisingly, none! I entered a Toronto-wide design competition called Fashion Your Future put on by Toronto Fashion Incubator, where winners received a grant and mentorship to start their own accessory business.


I ended up winning with my Expectancy Rings concept and was set up with Jon de Porter, the most amazing, inspiring mentor who has taught me so much about fine jewelry and its industry.

4. Suzy

SNTF: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far since launching your collection?


SY: Keep it simple! Since Expectancy Rings is such a new concept – rings for expectant parents (mothers and fathers) to celebrate and announce their growing families – I needed to make sure my designs were easy to love and matched other significant pieces of jewelry my customers already owned. My most popular ring is the stackable expectancy band because it pairs beautifully next to an engagement ring and wedding band – it’s the perfect addition to your jewelry collection!

5. Ring 

SNTF: What would you say sets your company apart from others in the jewellery industry?


SY: Expectancy Rings is the first and only jewellry brand of its kind. Expectant parents (whether expecting a baby by birth, surrogate or adoption) can choose a design that suits their style (a thin stackable band, thick diamond band or signature half-swirl band), their favourite type of gold (18k yellow, white or 14k rose gold), and most importantly a solid pink or blue sapphire to represent a baby girl or boy on the way. The option for a solid clear sapphire is also available to those who prefer to keep it gender neutral or keep their child’s gender a secret until birth.


I think the excitement of expecting a child should be remembered for the rest of your life, and each Expectancy Ring will last a lifetime.  

6. Suzy Working 

SNTF: What’s your favourite part about being an entrepreneur? What about the least?


SY: Having full creative control over my brand is such an amazing feeling! I also love working with clients directly and going through the process of seeing them design their rings from start to finish, then announcing their pregnancies on social media with their new, personalized rings.


My least favourite? Don’t have one! Being an entrepreneur is so rewarding! I recently had a same-sex couple purchase matching unisex bands to announce the adoption of a baby girl. Each family is unique, and it’s really touching to see all types of parents using the rings as a way celebrating their growing families!


SNTF: Tell us about your design process? Where do you find design inspiration? How long does it take to design a jewellery collection from start to finish?


SY: My inspiration comes from real mothers in my life (including my own!). I try to keep my rings as wearable and classic as possible, making them easy to stack next to multiple rings for a trendy, layered look, yet striking enough to stand alone.


Since each piece in the collection is simple and classic, it only took me a week or so to come up with the design ideas, then I took my sketches to a digital designer to bring them to life.


The signature Expectancy Rings band took the longest to design because my inspiration behind that piece was to create a ring that was more intricate, yet classic and also correlated with the idea behind the brand. The half swirl design signifies the coming together of two people to create life, and the sapphire is nestled carefully in the centre to represent the child.


SNTF: How did you learn the ins and outs of running a business?


SY: I learned mostly on my own, through trial and error. My first business, Shop Wanderlust, was a great first experience for learning and a bit of a stepping-stone that helped me discover what works and what doesn’t in order to find success with Expectancy Rings.


SNTF: What’s some advice you’d give to any woman (or man) questioning their career path and considering starting their own business instead?


SY: It might sound a little dry, but my biggest piece of advice is to create a business plan. It takes a lot of time and effort (it took me almost an entire year!), but having a business plan ensures that you think of every single aspect of your business before you begin. If by the end you feel like your idea has a great shot at succeeding and you still love it – go for it and give it your all!


SNTF: Running your own business must keep you pretty busy. How do you find a work-life balance? What do you do to unwind after a long work week?


SY: As an entrepreneur, your mind is always running with deadlines, emails to get back to and new ideas – you never really “leave” work when you get home after a long day because you’re constantly thinking about your business and new, innovative ways to improve it.


For me, it’s important to make time for my friends, family and extra activities that I enjoy outside of work. To keep the balance, I try to stay as organized as possible and prioritize – I am a huge fan of to-do lists and make one just about every day. My favourite way to unwind after a long work week is to take a dance class. It’s a great way to shut it all off for an hour or two and just focus on yourself and your body while learning something new and sweating it all out!


SNTF: And finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What’s next for your career and business?


SY: There’s an element of surprise when it comes to running your own business. I try to keep evolving and adapting based on what my clients are asking for, so I’m excited to see where that takes the business.


My next move for Expectancy Rings is to build a blog on the website where new and expectant parents can come to read tips and articles on parenthood.

To stay up to date with Suzy’s entrepreneurial and creative journey, make sure to check out her website or Instagram.

By: Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

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Fashion Jobs – 5 Work Pants for Summer

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaIn a perfect world we would all be able to wear our favourite pair of cut-offs to the office during summer. You know, that pair that hugs you in all the right places and shows off your legs. But unfortunately, shorts aren’t always the preferred bottom in some work environments. This summer, rather than only feeling as if you can only wear skirts and dresses, we wanted to share a few styles of dress pants that are warm weather approved.

We’ve rounded up our favourite airy silhouettes and fun, colourful options that will take you just about anywhere from BBQ work parties, late-night deadlines and the usual case of running errands. We’ve selected pants that feature lighter fabrics, a variety of price points and included chic ways to style these pant for summer.

So, take charge and beat the heat this summer with these five styles of work pants that you need in your life ASAP.

1.Bold Print

The Bright Crop:

These stunning silk-twill pants will help keep you feeling cool and ready to take on anything that comes your way. They are meant to fit high on the waist, which helps to make your waist appear slimmer.

Style Tip: Style with your favourite white or pastel coloured short sleeved button-up and add a fabulous heeled sandal to make the body appear taller and slimmer.

2.Seamless Culottes

The Seamless Culottes

Viscose material showcases simplicity but also can be elevated when paired with the perfect shoe and blouse. This drapey but sensible culottes style will provide comfort to the fullest, especially on those days when you have back-to-back meetings. These flowy beauties will have you feeling as if you’re hanging beach side feeling every breeze.

Style Tip: These culottes look best when paired with an off the shoulder top, preferably in sky blue or sun kissed orange. If you want ultimate comfortability, pair with a loafer with a one-inch heel.

3. Cropped

The Cropped Wide-Leg

This tapered wide-leg has got what it takes to bring on the summer heat — all while looking polished and sleek. Its slight cropped feature makes it breezy enough to play with flats, sneakers or a block heel. The added self-adjusted belt makes it more appealing for the eyes and the figure!

Style Tip: We recommend styling with statement coloured tops in royal blue or dark green. A simple coloured t-shirt would also look great, just pair with a playful necklace or a printed neck scarf for a chic look.

4. Cropped Trouser

The Cropped Trouser

There’s no better way to stand out of the crowd than with a pair of fuchsia trousers. These chic beauties are not only a steal, but they are made with a breathable fabric so you can stay cool without sacrificing the look of a great trouser.

Style Tip: We recommend pairing these beauties with either a black or white short-sleeved blouse and a pair of black heeled mules.

5. Cuffed khaki pant

Cuffed Khaki

Nothing reminds us of summer more than a pair of khaki pants. But thankfully we’re not picturing the extremely fitted style we used to wear during middle school. Now, we’re all about the high-waisted, cropped bell-bottom style that is perfect for those warm summer days.

Style Tip: Wear with a structured white button up and a pair of white or tan slides or mules for an effortlessly chic look.

Inspiration Photo
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Product Info:
1. Emilio Pucci Floral-Print Silk-Twill Straight-Leg Pants, $980, available at Net-A-Porter

2. Talula Sullivan Pant, $60, available at Artizia
3. Brunello Cucinelli Cropped striped wool and linen-blend wide-leg pants, $1,245, available at Net-A-Porter
4. Zara Cropped Trousers, $50, available at Zara
5. SEA Cuffed Khaki Pant, $365, available at Intermix, Image courtesy of Pinterest

By: Carly Brascoupé, Toronto, @carlyyr0se

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