While her latest business endeavor, Orejen Fashion Lab, is a relatively new addition to the world of womenswear, creator Tonya Belle is no fashion rookie. A first generation Canadian of Trinidadian descent, Belle’s professional journey began as a retail store manager after studying fashion management at Seneca College.
From there she became a merchandiser for Tommy Hilfiger, before becoming the first merchandiser ever for luxury fashion retailer, Holt Renfrew. Persistent weekly calls to Holt’s human resource department finally lead to a merchandise associate position in their buying office where she began honing her love for supporting emerging brands.
She had additional buying stints at Sporting Life, Sears, TJ Maxx, and Target totally over 15 years of buying experience before she entered maternity leave and set her sights in a new direction…
Continue reading Orejen Fashion Lab: How Tonya Belle Turned Her Passion to Profit
Have you ever met someone who, upon just knowing them a few moments, you knew was incredibly special? Some people just have a little extra sunshine in them. This is the story of how I met an angel at the Starbucks drive-through.
Continue reading Lust for Life
Yesterday was International Women’s Day and it had me thinking about what it means and what it’s like to be a woman in 2016 living in Western culture, specifically for myself, a black woman in North America. I thought about society and how it is to be a woman navigating life, love, the job market, and everything in between. Navigating beauty standards and the minefield that is female sexuality. Social Media. Economics. Daily life. All from the female perspective. I thought of some of the strong, smart, courageous women that inspire me like activist Bree Newsome and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Continue reading Girl Power in Isabel Marant
As February draws to a close I can’t help but notice the days getting warmer and longer. I’m starting to feel both my wardrobe and I slowly draw out of hibernation and I’m so excited to feel the sun’s rays on my skin.
Spring is that time to shed your layers and embrace bare skin. There’s something about an all white look that just feels so
godly fresh and I love that. I love the modern, bohemian style of this look from Zara.The volume on the top is complimented by the wide legged pants culminating in a loose, relaxed silhouette.
Take a cue from the photo set below and rediscover a natural, clean aesthetic. Breathe in the fresh air. Find new paths.
Continue reading All White
It’s been my pleasure to shine a light on Canadian design talent like Mary Young and Mani Jassal. There’s so many great things happening here in Toronto and I really want to make an effort to share the beautiful work of as many emerging designers as I can so please meet another one of my favorites: Beaufille.
Continue reading The “B” in Beaufille Stands For Badass
Wine. Mustard. Terracotta. Olive. These are the official colors of the fall season. These deep hues look amazing on medium to dark skin with warm undertones from bronzed tawny complexions to caramel and the darkest chocolate shades. If you fall into that description these are the colors that accent you best and when autumn arrives and everything on the retail market is coming out in this spectrum, this is your time to shine.
If you’re like me though, very fair in complexion, even my warm undertone can’t make this palette look good on me.
I’m actually the fairest of them all and Snow White jacked my steez. I’m more suited to the spring palette and these colors make me look pale and sickly. This is part of the reason why I don’t really like fall because aside form the fact that it’s getting colder and I’m dreading winter, all of the cute clothes that come out look bad on me. *Cringe*
Luckily I’ve found a solution. Continue reading Fall/Winter Wardrobe Palette for Fair Skin
I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that back when Drake and Future named their joint mixtape they were on Mary Young‘s web site anticipating her now released Fall 2015 collection. And rightfully so. With cosigns from Refinery 29, Teen Vogue, and other major fashion media, Mary is steadily positioning herself as one to watch both locally in Toronto and abroad.
In the world of lifestyle lingerie, most brands are either hyper-feminine or super sporty, but Mary positions herself right in the middle of the two styles. A quick browse in her online store reveals cozy basics like triangle bralettes, high waist panties, skinny-cut sweats, and knits made from the softest bamboo fibers in light and neutral palettes. It’s lingerie meets loungewear. Loungerie ©, if you will.
“Design itself inspires me,” Mary says. Give her a well-curated space with white walls and rustic wood or metal elements and her creativity will flourish. An average day in her life can involve anything from sketching, pattern-drafting, and sewing samples to managing her e-commerce store, packing and shipping orders, attending industry events, or taking meetings like the one we are on now over coffee at one of her preferred spots, RSqaured Cafe on Queen Street West. Continue reading What A Time To Be Mary Young
I love you guys a lot and as part of this special lil connection we’re building I promise to always keep it real with you guys and that includes admitting when I’m struggling a little. As some of you may have noticed I usually try to post about every 5 days or so and if I go much beyond that it probably means that I’m out here floundering, LOL. #Help
Continue reading Keepin’ it Real
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now last Friday, the 13th, really did live up to the day’s notably negative reputation. Tragedies in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and Japan had us all collectively reeling in disbelief.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I tend to be pretty emotionally sensitive to hearing about sad current events happening around the world. Living in such a connected era within minutes we hear about everything that’s going on around the globe, good and bad, and sometimes that can be overwhelming for me.
Continue reading Get Lost With Me: Why Fashion is a Great Escape