Toronto fashion fans know there's tons of jewelry design talent in this city. Pop into any local boutique, and a bauble from some local maker will almost certainly catch your eye. Slowly but surely, too, the rest of the world is taking notice, with Toronto designers popping up in the pages of fashion mags and the bodies of well-dressed humans around the world.
There are tons of great designers not on this list, but I've rounded up a few of my favourites below.
Already a known name in Canada, Davidson's star is rising around the world, with his architectural, art deco-inspired wares favoured by fashion editors and boutiques from here to Tokyo. His gold and silver pieces, featuring hits of colour from semiprecious stones, have made it into U.S. and Italian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and earned him a capsule line with eBay Canada.
Bird, who divides her time between Toronto and New York, taught herself to design accessories, and began with handbags before expanding into a line of luxuriously bohemian jewelry. Now, her pieces are sold worldwide - and have been found adorning the wrists of fashion world luminaries like Anna Dello Russo.
Speech designer Michael Mercanti makes rough, raw, slightly-spooky sterling silver pieces for men and women -- either way, they'll go great with your drapey Rick Owens jacket and Margiela boots. Bones, razor blades and nails are recurring motifs, but there's also a little whimsy at work; Speech's catalog features pendants shaped like bread tags, match sticks and pop can tabs.
Corinne Anestopolous was born and raised in Toronto, and started her jewelry line fresh out of Ryerson; now, her wares are carried across Canada and the U.S., as well as China and Japan. Her "modern-nostalgic" pieces, featuring chains, spikes and studs, balance edge with elegance.
Foxy's a real Canadian success story. Two friends met in university and launched a jewelry studio; 10 years later, their bright, fun enamelled pieces are selling in Target stores across Canada. Though Foxy's become a large operation, they keep things local; all of their items are manufactured in Toronto.
Lowe's stock in trade: Glittering statement showstoppers, including necklaces and bracelets created from artful tangles of gems and chains. (Those attention-grabbers even landed around the necks of models Arlenis Sosa, Irina Lazareanu and Tiiu Kuik on the cover of FLARE.) Lowe's offerings go from those complicated collars down to simple Swarovski drop earrings - there's something for everyone.
The designers behind Blackbird (Vanessa Marino and Regan Hayes) mix metals, chains, stones and silk rope for their pieces. What makes them stand out is the use of mirrored Plexiglas plates, which appear on necklaces and bracelets in bold chevron shapes, or joined together like armour.
A favourite of indie fashion magazines like WORN and Chloe, Armed's opulent neckpieces, featuring stones, spikes, tassels and horns, are anything but dainty and delicate. Designer Desiree Girlato sets her pieces apart from the local pack with standout materials, including chains and gems sourced from as far away as Arizona.
Designer Sally Han keeps her (presumably very well-accessorized) hands full, juggling the elegant pendants and dangling earrings of her main Psalms 91:1 line with the bold collar necklaces of sister brand Shop For Jayu and her Full Armour men's line. Psalms 91:1 began as a charity fundraiser, and Han carries that socially-conscious aim forward through charity donations.
King-Stewart works in both Swarovski-crystal fashion jewelry, featuring layered chains and glittering gems, and blinged-out fine jewelry. The OCAD grad also does custom work, with one of her coolest commissions being a set of interlocking alumni rings for her alma mater.
Who'd I miss? Add your favourite local jewelery designers to the comments below.
by Natalia Manzocco via blogTO