Q&A: Kaelen Haworth, the GTA-born designer who’s taking New York by storm

Kaelen Haworth launched her first collection one year after graduating from Parsons School of Design and showed it at New York Fashion Week that same year. Six years and many runways later at NYFW, the GTA native dishes on her minimalist collection and why Canadian fashion is fearless.

How were you able to show at NYFW so soon after Parsons?
I decided to do a show that was workable for a small brand. It wouldn’t have been realistic to jump into runway, but a presentation seemed like a great way to showcase what I had been working on all year. 

What do you love about the fashion scene in Toronto?
I like how high concept Canadian designers will go. There is a fearlessness in Canada, and Toronto especially, that I think is rare. It’s really rooted in being creative.

What inspired you to enter the world of fashion design?
I always wanted to be in fashion. It was not really one thing that inspired me, but I’m a big fan of surrounding yourself with people who inspire you and push you forward. That was the impetus I needed to make it official.

What was it like interning at Stella McCartney?
I loved interning at a company where the culture really permeates all the way from the top to the intern level. We felt the principles of Stella and her business philosophy in everything we did, which had a huge influence over me when starting my own business.

What are your wardrobe essentials?
Classic shirting, good jeans, killer outerwear. I’m all about a statement piece added to the classics.

When you’re in Toronto, where do you shop?
I love the Bay. I think the changes they’ve made and continue to make are exciting. I also like TNT, Andrews and Narwhal. 

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