Kylie & Jonathan recently had a chance to chat with Toronto designer Ellé Marks at her Toronto Studio. We had a great time talking about comfort, confidence, sexiness and looking great every day. Kylie had a blast trying on her pieces, and of course, couldn’t resist taking a few home with her!Ellé Marks is an up-and-coming Toronto-based designer whose work “is locally sourced, ethically manufactured…and tailored to the female form.” She focuses her collection around basics for women that look and feel great emphasizing the woman in the clothes, and not just the clothes themselves.
Ellé’s collection is designed to help women feel absolutely amazing. “When they put on one of my pieces, I want them to see themselves in a completely new light. I want them to feel amazing, morning to night.” The moment Kylie tried on her first dress – Ellé’s talent and intention were immediately obvious: “It feels like a sexy hug!”.“I know it looks great, so I feel great!”
Ellé makes sure that her collection is extremely practical, and her easy-to-wear basics are interchangeable. “It all goes together…I designed the collection for everything to intertwine” says Ellé. And, from daytime to evening wear, Ellé’s collection will have you covered, feeling comfortable and great all day long. As Kylie demonstrates, starting with one of Ellé’s fantastic form fitting dresses, it was easy to add an accessory, and a skirt for different looks. And, by adding a skirt for a day at the office, it’s easy to go straight to the evening by simply removing the skirt. It’s effortless chic! Ellé makes it easy to create different looks…and go from daytime wear to evening wear.
LOCALLY SOURCED AND MANUFACTURED
While Ellé’s work focuses on simplicity and elegance for the women who wear her clothes, she was inspired by the events in Bangladesh surrounding the Rana Plaza collapse. That one event resulted in over 1000 deaths of garment workers, in pursuit of cheaper clothes and greater margins in Western markets. Ellé is also keenly aware of the loss of jobs to local garment workers in Canada over the past decade due to manufacturing moving to Asia. “I remember going to the fabric stores and people were surpised to see me. People didn’t expect me to be a designer buying the ends of the rolls…it was a signal to me that there was a problem, because everyone was stunned to see me – and I am in Toronto. They should expect me. I realized that I was going to keep things local.”
Not only were we impressed with Ellé’s sense of design and talent, we were also impressed with her as a person. And being inspired to help others through design is only the beginning for Ellé. The socially innovative business models that Ellé is developing here in Toronto, she anticipates expanding to other cities internationally. Go Ellé!
You can find Ellé at Crimson & Clover Boutique, 1166 Eglinton West, Forest Hill, Toronto and online at www.ellemarkstc.com. In addition to ready-to-wear collections, Ellé also provides bespoke services for the perfect fit.