Renowned fashion designer Hayley Elsaesser on her style essentials

We get her to dish on her new Bayview Village shop and her show at Fashion Week

After establishing her brand (known for its wild and colourful prints) in Australia, designer Hayley Elsaesser is returning to her Toronto roots. She has just opened a stand-alone shop in Bayview Village and is also preparing for her show at World MasterCard Fashion Week.  

What is your vision for your new store? 
To be a bright spot in Bayview Village mall. Many of the stores here carry a lot more classic pieces and really great designers for wardrobe staples. However, I see my clothes as statement pieces that fit really nicely into already existing wardrobes. I hope it will be the go-to spot for someone looking for that special dress for an event, to stand out or just a fun look to brighten their day. 

Where do you get the inspiration for the prints in your collection?
Each season I’m inspired by a different theme that seems to come to me suddenly. This most recent collection, Midnight Cowboy, was inspired by the traditional Wild West meets a futuristic bad girl. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill was basically my inspiration, which sums the collection up pretty well. Generally, I find that I am very often inspired by pop culture of the past from movies, to pop stars and art! 

What is your favourite boutique in Toronto?
Of course, besides my own, I’d have to say Convey on Queen Street. They have a bunch of Australian brands, which is very unique to Toronto. Here you tend to find a lot of the same stuff in different shops, so it’s incredible that they have such exclusive designers available to shop. 

What are your wardrobe essentials? 
Sneakers. I am so, so happy that they are back in such a huge way because they make my life very easy and comfortable without compromising on style. With a pair of cool sneakers you can take an outfit to another level.  

How do you feel about T.O.’s fashion industry?
I do think it is a bit safe at times. This is why I really love being the one to push the envelope in terms of my designs, but also other ways like my upcoming presentation at Fashion Week. I feel like there is a lot of room for fun in the industry, and I am more than happy to be the designer to deliver it. 

What are your plans for Fashion Week?
I will be showing, but it will be entirely different than my previous two shows. That’s all I can say, but it will be a very fun show. 

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