We all know that I love local designers and try my best to support them. I’ve said it so many times on the blog that there’s something extra special about buying an item that someone has poured their heart into versus a random fast fashion piece from the mall. For this reason, I am determined to consistently share Canadian brands with you in 2018. This is in fact already my second #ShopLocal post of the year! Check out the first one here.

The average lifecycle of a garment seems to be getting shorter by the minute and I don’t know about you guys, but the novelty of buying cheap clothes so that I can have endless options is beginning to wear off. Perhaps it has to do with growing up or learning more about the industry, but lately I have been falling in love with the story behind a garment more than ever.

Don’t get me wrong, if I’m in a serious pinch and need something quick, there’s a Zara up the street where I can pretty much always find what I need. Having said that, whatever I do get from there is usually worn once or twice and then sits in my closet until I do a big donation purge.

Lately I have begun to realize that it’s not about the design (we all know that big brands do great designs), or even about the quality (sometimes even fast fashion things can last for ages), but for me, it’s really about what went into the piece of clothing and the story of how it came to be mine.

When I shop from local designers, it’s usually because I met them at an event somewhere and thought they were cool. I will usually reach out after the fact, meet them for a coffee and learn more about who they are and what inspires them. I will then visit their showroom or see them at a local market/pop-up to get one of their designs. It’s these people and memories that stand out in my mind. This is what I love about shopping locally.

I can honestly say that I remember the person, place and story behind every local item of clothing that I own. This kind of emotional involvement does not exist with fast fashion.

The brand featured in this post, Casa Como, is by Diana Ivanova. Everything in her collections is designed and made in Toronto. I first met Diana through a friend at a local fashion event having just returned from a holiday in Bulgaria. For this reason, I was really excited to find out that she is from Sofia, Bulgaria, the city I had just fallen in love with. I had literally never met anyone from Bulgaria in Canada before! We bonded over all the funny nightclubs in the city.

Diana and I quickly became friends and the rest is history. Casa Como was right next to ÉLISE at INLAND market and her showroom is just down the street from my apartment. Her minimal contemporary designs are so easy to wear and always (literally always) comfortable. My two favourite pieces from her current collection are the white top with ruffle back detail and this quilted black hoodie. I mean, have I ever looked cooler?

The earrings, red boots and white sneakers in this post are also by Toronto based designers. Do you have any other Canadian fashion favourites? Let me know who I should feature next in the comments!