Photo by George Pimentel. Designers L to R: Wayne Clark, Sarah Hopgood of Trout, Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe of Smythe, Kimberly Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan, Lida Baday, Jeremy Laing, Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill designers of Greta Constantine and Dennis Merotto.

Truth be told, before I started Shedoesthecity I had no idea who our top Canadian designers were. Although Twitter is buzzing with photos from various shows at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Pecault Square, I’m still of the belief that most Canadians remain unaware of the great designers working here at home. Heck, my friends with great style don’t even know!

It is a powerful community and a passionate one, but it still seems rather insular. That said, year by year awareness is growing and now more than ever, we have some serious talent to be proud of who are receiving recognition on a global level. (It’s not just Blake Lively who loves Smythe, Kate Middleton is also a fan.)
The Holt Renfrew media preview for Spring 2012 is a great crash course to help you get familiar with the names and labels in Canada that are making a mark internationally.

Dennis Merotto, Greta Constantine, Jeremy Laing, Lida Baday, Pink Tartan, Smythe, Trout, and Wayne Clark are the eight collections that Holts wants to celebrate right now. 

Which collection do you love most?

Dennis Merotto
He’s been around for 25 years and Holts describes his label as “modern clothing with pristine tailoring.”

Greta Constantine
Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong have been the Toronto cool kids since they launched Greta Constantine in 2006 and their first collection was bought by Holts. They share Jamaican roots and are eccentric fellows who have socialites buzzing around them at every major fundraiser. All the fashion girls wanna say, “It’s Greta.”

Jeremy Laing
He apprenticed for Alexander McQueen, is making waves in New York and if we could dress one celebrity in his clothes, we’d say Tilda Swinton. Like her, Laing’s work is bold, striking and cut differently than the rest. His Spring 2013 collection was inspired by swamp life. 

Lida Baday
Lida Baday has been in the biz for a long time and has consistently given Canadian women elegant clothes that never go out of style. Her label is always associated with fine quality, classic cuts and exquisite fabrics.

Pink Tartan
Of all the names on this list, you might be most familiar with Pink Tartan designed by Kimberly Newport-Mimran. From sportswear to cocktail dresses, Pink Tartan has been synonomous with sophisticated design since its launch in 2002. She’s married to Joe Mimran (Joe Fresh), opened the Pink Tartan flagship in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood in 2010 and received a great deal of publicity when the label partnered with Porter Air to create the best looking flight crew uniforms we’ve seen since the 60s. 

Smythe has done one thing very well since 2004: Blazers. Designed by Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe, this label has become associated with numerous celebs and loyal Smythe fans include everyone from Rachel McAdams to the Duchess of Cambridge. The minute we have an extra $800 lying around, this is going to be our first major investment piece. 

This is new! Trout Rainwear launches its debut collection in Spring/Summer 2013 with…I’m going to say it….sexy rain gear. Designed in Toronto. Made in Vancouver.

Wayne Clark
Another very established designer, Wayne Clark gives women the fun, flirty and colourful cocktail dresses that are vibrant and ultra feminine.

Photos by George Pimentel (Click to Enlarge)