hayley elsaesser toronto

One of Toronto's most unique clothing stores is closing

The Toronto-based fashion designer whose vibrant clothing has been worn by the likes of Katy Perry, Alessia Cara, and Joe Joans has decided to close up shop after four years on Queen West. 

Hayley Elsaesser, the 31-year-old designer who first stunned at Toronto Fashion Week with her colourful prints and diverse models, has announced that she's shuttering her store at 695 Queen St. West for good.

"We’ve had a great run on Queen West, and have enjoyed being part of the community, but in order to do things more sustainably, we need to lower our overhead costs. In light of this, we will be closing our retail store," wrote the company. 

"We’ve spoken to retailers up and down Queen St West in Toronto’s formerly famed fashion district, and walk-in traffic was down for everyone this holiday shopping season."

Citing a highly competitive fast fashion industry and a need to become more sustainable, the brand has decided to operate solely online, on a made-to-order basis. 

It's not the first time Elsaesser, who has used her designs and runway shows as a platform to champion diversity and gender identity, has voiced feeling let down by the Canadian fashion industry.

Last year, she penned a letter explaining why she opted out of last year's Toronto Fashion Week (we can thank a lack of support for local designers for that). 

"We can’t compete with fast fashion, and we don’t want to... In the modern age, the process has been sped up to the point where it is no longer viable, or healthy for people or the planet.

The ride is moving too fast, and we are all feeling sick. It is time to get off the roller-coaster and slow down." 

The Hayley Elsaesser site will be launching its new model soon. Until then, the store will be holding a clearance sale this weekend, with discounts of up to 80% across the store. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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