Toronto Fashion Collectives
Up until recently, Toronto's independent fashion designers had very few opportunities to sell their products within the city. Opening and maintaining a retail boutique while simultaneously designing a clothing line is virtually impossible; both projects require a full-time commitment and a bottomless wallet. Luckily, we have a few resourceful people in the world to create solutions to such problems.
Laura Jean, owner of Fresh Collective, made the decision to join forces with other up and coming designers as a way to alleviate the financial burden of running a store. She first got the idea while running Peachy Fresh, a small Yorkville boutique that she shared with another designer. They wanted to bring in another artist, someone with a new perspective and fresh energy who could help out with the day to day administrative responsibilities.
This eventually evolved into the Queen Street location that we have come to love, and after four years of blood, sweat and broken windows, Fresh Collective could definitely be considered a success story. Several designers, such as Snoflake and Dagg and Stacey, who started their fashion careers with Fresh, have now achieved international recognition.
Fresh Collective has also paved the way for other fashion collectives in Toronto, including Wanna Frock, and Freedom Clothing Collective, which is mainly operated by Ryerson students and alumni. Freedom also uses their space to exhibit the art of Ryerson photography students, and they sell clothing from designers not affiliated with the collective, such as Beata Dirycz and Embody by Tara White.
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