The Toronto Entertainment District is visited daily by street-side experiential marketing campaigns and pop-up activations, but twice a year a showcase of Canadian makers and designers march inland, assuming position at the QRC West building. INLAND is Canada’s leading pop-up destination for contemporary fashion, inventive jewelry and handmade accessories. This season’s installment is running from September 21 to 22 and is a unique opportunity to discover, meet and shop directly from producers who all ethically make or manufacture their products in Canada.
This season, INLAND is launching The Studio, a unique retail space allotted to the most promising graduates and businesses from the Toronto Fashion Incubator, Ryerson Fashion Zone, OCAD U Material Art & Design, Seneca Fashion and George Brown Fashion program. This showcase of young talent reflects INLAND’s aim to broaden its commitment to nurturing, supporting and promoting Canada’s rich design talent.
Having this talent concentrated in the Toronto Entertainment District is rare and we have boiled down our must-visit designers this weekend. Exploring INLAND makes for a perfect day in the district – nestled close to cafés like Ricarda’s and bars like Watson’s, we recommend meandering through 401 Richmond, latte in hand, before exploring the many makers setting up shop across the street.
Here is our selection of top makers and designers showing off what they’re working with this Friday to Saturday.
The namesake fashion line, maggie jayne, was founded in 2015 and is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Maggie’s designs are deliberately playful, lighthearted and versatile with many unisex pieces and colourful prints. Maggie is inspired by the people she is surrounded by and designs first and foremost, for herself. The clothing line is partnered with a Fair Trade Federation accredited manufacturer based in Jaipur. The manufacturer is supporting skilled, textile artisans and is sourcing local, organic and fairly-traded products. Maggie’s latest collection was designed in part with Shayla Bond, a Toronto-based artist, known for fashion inspired illustrations and modern shape compositions.
Apogee is a small design and production studio built from founder, Britt Junek’s desire to craft unique, hard-wearing and understated accessories. Since the studio’s conception in 2012, every detail has always been carefully considered. Developing Apogee’s products relies on choosing quality materials and curating hardware selections. Britt makes a point of sensibly measuring product dimensions for thoughtful method of construction. These details come together in creating useful, durable items that age gracefully and function perfectly. All of Apogee’s products are designed and handmade in Toronto.
Jennifer Torosian is a women’s ready-to-wear fashion label known for thoughtful interpretations of contemporary wardrobe essentials. The brand was founded by Jennifer Torosian herself, and Raed Ali in Toronto. Each collection is built from a refined and refreshed perspective where classic silhouettes are articulated with a modern sensibility. By detailing and loosening the cuts and lines in fabric, functionality meets fluidity and gives Jennifer Torosian pieces a look of luxury with an easy lightness.
Designer, Gillian Johnson, created Hawkly out of her love for jewelry and travel – the two consistent pleasures in her life. After hiking in Sri Lanka, biking through Italy and silversmithing in Mexico, Gillian settled down in Toronto to create the Hawkly brand. Each handcrafted piece emphasizes lost-wax casting and intricate metalsmithing techniques to carefully combine materials and create Hawkly’s identifiable unique aesthetic. Hawkly designs are guided by a strong sense of self, adventure and curiosity aiming to cultivate gratitude for the small pleasure in life.
OKAYOK is turning playwear on its head with fashion-forward pieces with an aesthetic it calls, Altleisure. Founded in 2017 by designer, Adrienne Butikofer, its designs are inspired by vintage Canadian loungewear brands like Au Coton and Cotton Ginny. OKAYOK is making fun, comfortable clothing fit for both personal and professional life. Everything from fabric to finishing is made in Toronto, making reference to obscure personal experiences, simple colours and popular motifs.
Watch our Instagram stories @EntertainmentDistrictTO for a better look behind the doors of 134 Richmond St during INLAND