FashionMy Canadian Closet | Deborah Wang

My Canadian Closet | Deborah Wang

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 creatives, so we’re celebrating incredible talent born and bred right here that have put cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal on the style map.

In this edition of our My Canadian Closet series, we’re taking a deep dive into Deborah Wang’s wardrobe. The Toronto-based curator and designer is the co-founder and artistic director of non-profit art organization DesignTO. Her love for Canadian design translates across all facets of her life, from her work to her personal style. Scroll on to learn more.


Which Canadian designers do you feel inspired by?

There are so many amazing designers in Canada. A few that I have supported by purchasing/collecting include Horses, Philip Sparks, WANT, The Stowe, Corey Moranis, ORA-C, Hoi Bo and m0851. I’m inspired by the stories behind their designs and also the stories they create around or for their designs. For example, Corey Moranis’ recent videos on Instagram. Her lucite jewelry is paired with flowers, as a way to make a flower arrangement on your body, or used as a magnifying glass.

What is it that draws you to these designers?

I am interested in supporting independent designers and local retailers, especially women. That’s one part of it. The other part of attraction is harder to describe.


Deborah Wang is pictured with a friend, standing side by each in front of paitings on a wall behind them.


If you could pick one Canadian item in your wardrobe to talk about, which would it be?

Since it feels like it’s endlessly winter here, I pick wool winter coats. I have two from Horses and two from Philip Sparks, acquired between 3-10 years ago.

How does this item make you feel when wearing it?

Cozy. Comfortable. Confident.


A black and white image of Deborah Wang in her wool coat from Horses. She has a blunt black bob with bangs and is wearing eyeglasses with a thick dark frame.

Deborah in her wool coat from Horses.

When do you like to wear this piece? Is it an everyday staple of yours or do you wear it on special occasions?

They are everyday staples. Each has its own role depending on the weather. The herringbone wool of the Horses’ Alchemical Coat is lighter and more loosely woven, so it’s great for shoulder seasons. Same with my tulip-shaped coat by Philip Sparks, except that it has a detachable (sustainably-sourced) fur collar which adds a lot of warmth. Importantly, all of these coats are oversized, so they fit over my oversized sweaters. (If anyone has the Hope Grand sweater, you’ll understand.)

When you think of this item, does a specific memory stick out?

I wore the Horses coat to Iceland in March 2019 for their design festival. There’s a hilarious photo of me walking through a snowstorm. 

Don’t forget to check out Deborah Wang for all your design inspiration at @d.e.b.o.r.a.h_w  and @designtofestival (we can’t wait for its return in 2022).

In the meantime, for more local fashion features check out our previous Q&A with Catherine Addai.

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