The Canadian fashion industry should be nurtured, supported and celebrated. It has never been more important to shop local from brands that are designing, manufacturing, and retailing close to home. Canada is home to some of the world’s most talented photographers, producers, filmmakers, stylists and designers, so we’re celebrating incredible talent born and bred right here that have put cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal on the style map.
Cue, My Canadian Closet, our Q&A series interviewing some of our favourite creatives and discussing which Canadian designers have made an impact on their wardrobe.
For our second installment of this Canadian fashion series, we spoke to stylist and self-proclaimed Queen of the safety pins, Cherry Wang. Based in Toronto, Cherry has styled shoots for some of Canada’s biggest fashion publications such as FASHION, The Kit and Dress To Kill. She is also the co-founder of Re—Pull Library, an online resource for stylists and fashion enthusiasts who are looking for interesting upcycled and vintage designer pieces to rent or purchase. Cherry not only has an encyclopedic knowledge of where to pull the best pieces on this side of North America, she is also a vocal supporter of Canadian fashion.
Cherry Wang’s shoots for The Kit, Re—Pull Library, and FASHION.
Which Canadian designers do you feel inspired by?
Some of my favourite Canadian designers include Spencer Badu, Kathryn Bowen, Mikhael Kale, The Legends League, WCROW, Cuchara, and Xylk.
What is it that draws you to these designers?
Many of the brands I mentioned have a big local following here in Toronto. The designers all come from different backgrounds and have specific aesthetics, but the common thread between them is the thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and strong personal viewpoints that are put into every single one of their pieces.
For example, Cuchara is a WOC-owned jewelry brand by Edilou Canedo that I’ve loved pulling from for years. Each piece is handcrafted, and her designs are gritty but elegant at the same time. Edi is Filipina-Canadian, and her summer collection lookbook last year was shot on the beach in the Philippines, which I absolutely adored. I love when designers infuse so much of their personal stories into their brands.
WCROW is a clothing line started by Japanese-Canadian designer Tomo Hosogoe. His designs take inspiration from youth culture, vintage sportswear, and Japanese workwear. They only release a few pieces a season, but every item has consistently been functional, timeless, and made of high-quality materials.
Xylk is a brand I discovered a few months ago while stay-at-home orders were in place. The main product he makes are grocery bags and they’ve been flying off the shelves, since the only place anyone could go to at the time was the grocery store. He creates these amazing, nostalgic collages and prints them on reusable bags, which I find both hilarious and ingenious. I’ve bought two already!
If you could pick one Canadian item in your wardrobe to talk about, which would it be?
My current favourite piece is a black graphic print convertible t-shirt from Spencer Badu. It’s so smartly designed. The front shoulder seams are slashed open, so you can wear it as a t-shirt with a cut-out detail, or you can put your arms through the holes and wear it like a tank top. Spencer designs genderless, utilitarian everyday wear. When you examine his pieces up close, you can immediately appreciate the careful design process behind it, whether it’s the weight of the fabrics, a small nick on the collar, or military inspired closures and finishings, every detail contributes to the overall story of his brand.
Cherry in her Spencer Badu t-shirt
How does this item make you feel when wearing it?
Since I started styling, my first priority is always comfort. I need to be able to move with ease and throw something on that looks good and is unfussy. This t-shirt does just that – it’s oversized, looks cool, is comfortable, and comes in black which means I can get it dirty on photoshoot day and it won’t show.
When do you like to wear this piece? Is it an everyday staple of yours or do you wear it on special occasions?
This is definitely an everyday staple. When I first bought it I wore it for a week straight (haha!).
When you think of this item, does a specific memory stick out?
Just a reminder that we should all support independently owned local brands as much as possible.
Cherry in her Spencer Badu t-shirt
Don’t forget to check out all of the talent featured in this blog and show them your support! Stay tuned for more Canadian creatives discussing their favourite local designers and if you haven’t already, read our last Q&A with Justin Wu.