Local Love: Ross Mayer branches out into menswear with new FW/18 collection

A fashion industry mainstay for over a quarter of a century, Ross Mayer is known for his glammed-out approach to womenswear. The designer has been all over Toronto as of late, popping up at Toronto Fashion Week in Yorkville in addition to a collective presentation at TOM* Tweed, a cannabis-inspired runway show, plus a solo show at the same Toronto’s men’s fashion week.

What’s the grand occasion (other than fashion)? Mayer has finally dipped his um, fabric shears into the well that is menswear, showcasing designs that speak to him directly.

We spoke to the designer about his FW/18 collection, the man that is Mayer, and why it’s so important to support Canadian fashion.

You’re known for your womenswear — why did you decide to branch out into menswear at this point in time? I have wanted to do this for quite a while and the timing just seemed so right. Guys everywhere are really coming into themselves with their wardrobes and overall appearances and that’s so exciting! Traditionally, it was women that were taking the spotlight but now men are vying for that same spot, showcasing their individual style.

How would you describe the Mayer Man? Are you designing your ultimate dream wardrobe or is this for a fantasy man? The collection is really focused on coats and jackets — the foundation of every guy’s wardrobe. I think my major push and inspiration in designing the collection was the lack of really great quality pieces that were unique and had that cool factor yet retain a sense of timelessness that can be in our closets for years.

Ross Mayer
Ross Mayer’s FW/18 collection focuses on coats and jackets

What’s the inspiration behind the FW/18 collection — was there anything in particular that really struck a chord and set you off? The collection is really my dream wardrobe that incorporates all my essential must-haves together with statement making prices that encapsulate my vision of “luxe-meets-street.” When I put the collection together I was really inspired by juxtaposition. I wanted formal jackets and coats to pair up with supercool pieces — whether it be a metallic hoodie or a great pair of athletic joggers… I think this concept is so modern and is really the way so many of us want to dress now!

How important is it to you that your garments remain based in Toronto? Has there been much pressure to move production abroad? I cannot say this proudly enough, that for over 25 years in my women’s business and now men’s, we make locally right here in Canada — specifically Toronto. Canadian workmanship is absolutely superb and clients see that! Supporting our industry in terms of jobs and the local economy is crucial and we are so proud to say that our garments are “Made with Love in Canada.”

Where do you see the future of Canadian fashion? Why is it important for Canadians to support local talent? There is so much Canadian talent out there and it’s really our time to shine!  On the international stage we are still a small player but I see that changing as attention is focusing our way with some pretty major talent coming through in not just fashion but in the entertainment industry and many other fields. So come on everyone, search out the best of the best; it’s right here in Canada!

Mayer Man by Ross Mayer.

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