Last up in the Fashionist-eh’s profiles on the CAFA award nominees for Womenswear Designer of the Year is Smythe.
Smyth is made up of the dynamic co-designing duo, Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe. Smythe launched its brand in 2004, starting with blazers and jackets, and has now moved on to the entire gambit of everyday essentials. The brand is Made-in-Canada and has a studio in downtown Toronto. Christie gained training at Parsons, where she later worked at Gap and Celine. Lenczner did an MBA and eventually became a buyer at Holt Renfrew. The two have been friends since high school and even lived together in university. In an interview with Best Health Magazine, it shows that a major commonality between the two was their love for fashion.
The brand has received some limelight due to the Duchess of Cambridge’s apparent liking to the brand. Kate Middleton has been photographed wearing Smythe blazers since the 2011 Canadian royal tour. As expected, the combination of the Duchess’ popularity and well-known fashion sense, along with Smythe’s jackets, have led their blazers to gain international demand.
Smythe’s popularity did not start with the Duchess, however. Smythe’s most popular item, their blazers, has been a staple for celebrities like Blake Lively, Rachel McAdams, Gigi Hadid, and Anne Hathaway. Outside of Holt Renfrew, the label is found in a number of high-end department stores including but not limited to Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bergdorf Goodman. The label has also been featured in Nylon, InStyle, and TeenVogue. In an interview with She Does the City, Smythe explains why they chose to start with blazers as addressing a staple need that women should have in their closets. At the time when they started their brand, there was a need for blazers other than suits, and they hit the nail on the head.
In a Best Health Magazine interview, Lenczner passes on the advice that “buy the best and you’ll only buy once”. That advice rings true for Smythe’s brand with its staple items that closets should not do without.
Good luck, Smythe!