FOUNDERS | Myla Davey of Cherry Gardens
Myla Davey wears many fashion hats. The founder of Toronto-based loungewear brand Cherry Gardens dreamed up her company during her day job as a brand marketer.
Cherry Gardens is not your basic loungewear label. The brand is mindfully designed and ethically-made, sourcing only local labour and materials. It is also driven by nostalgia, particularly Davey’s memories of living in Jamaica as a child, and is a reflection of that feeling of comfort and simplicity.
We spoke to the inspired founder, designer, and fashion force to be reckoned with, on how she built her brand, what Cherry Gardens is all about and her industry insights.
Keep scrolling to read our Q&A and don’t forget to shop Cherry Gardens, which is partnered with Matte PR client and Buy Now Pay Later service Afterpay!
What inspired you to start Cherry Gardens?
It originally started as a creative outlet for me. I have a background in fashion and marketing, and wanted to create something new and tangible with my skill set. The brand is inspired by the feeling of nostalgia: it’s named after a neighbourhood in Kingston, Jamaica, a place I lived for a period as a kid. The memories from that time have stuck with me and I wanted to physically embody them through clothing. Each of the styles is also named after a person, place or object that is important to me.
Comfort is always the #1 priority for me with my clothing — it’s gotta be comfy yet cute. It felt like a natural avenue for me to explore making clothing that was authentic to me and be able to share that feeling with others through the pieces I create.
Your loungewear is mindfully designed to make you feel as good as you look. If you could choose just one set that embodies this feeling most for you, which would it be?
Our first ribbed sets – the Luna Top and Pony Short. You can’t get any cosier than this slinky, buttery soft rib fabric that hugs your curves. Plus you can dress each piece up or down depending on your vibe that day, for example pairing the bike short with an oversized sweater and sneakers, or wearing the fitted long sleeve with jeans and a chic leather jacket.
Cherry Gardens places an emphasis on quality over quantity and waste reduction. The fast-fashion movement, nowadays, is so prevalent in our industry, what ways would you like to see fashion and shopping habits change?
Buy less, but better. Prioritize shopping local and from women/minority-owned brands. We’re seeing the move in this direction and I hope it continues!
Cherry Gardens is community focused, tell us more about that.
One of our pillars is working with and uplifting the community that exists here in Toronto and across Canada, working with local creatives, brands and vendors. It doesn’t stop there though; my goal is to create a sense of belonging with the brand, for everyone that interacts with it, worldwide.
CG x Rachel Joanis is one of your most popular collaborations, with artwork done by Toronto-based artist Rachel Joanis. Are there any other upcoming collaborations in the pipeline?
Rachel is amazing, I love to collab with local artists and showcase the talent that exists here. You’ll just have to wait and see what’s next!
What would be your dream collaboration?
Ultimate dream is getting my clothing on Tracee Ellis Ross! One day…
How has your role as Brand Marketer influenced your work as a designer and founder?
I still work a full-time day job! So I definitely borrow from that skill set and also previous experience to further Cherry Gardens — I’m a jill of all trades.
Has your perspective on the fashion industry shifted since launching your own brand?
I always had a degree of insight into the inner workings of the fashion industry, but I think the number one thing I’ve learned first hand is how incredibly expensive it is starting up a brand on your own, and how that quantifies the higher price point you typically see from smaller brands. I will never again criticise those high price tags because I know how much work went into creating that product! It’s truly a labour of love.