If you went to Fashion Art Toronto, then you know Stevie Crowne. The edgy and contemporary designer who took the runway by storm on Wednesday night and had the entire audience in awe.
Since 2011, Canadian fashion designer Stevie Crowne stands uniquely - taking top quality vintage thrift styles and transforming them into design masterpieces. Deemed an Eco-Friendly label, his latest collection "Underground Monarch" stunned at Fashion Art Toronto, it's no wonder why he's been gaining such traction.
Since Stevie's inception he's competed for Canada’s Sustainable Designer Of The Year Award and most recently launched internationally thanks to the help of Perth Eco Fashion Week in November 2017, less than one week before showcasing a four look resort collection in Toronto on December 1st.
He's a big deal and this year Stevie's making strides in the fashion industry. With big things on the horizon we thought it fitting to sit down and ask him some questions on how he got started, where he see him self in the future and the true inspiration behind his collections. So without further ado here is our exclusive interview with Stevie Crowne:
It is so great to have the opportunity to interview you. We saw you at Fashion Art Toronto, you had such an amazing and powerful collection! How does it feel to be done and finally showcasing your collection?
I feel like after months of hard work and surrendering myself to the vision, I have redeemed myself for yet another season!
Was it a big process leading up to the runway? Were you nervous at all?
I was the most calm I have been in my entire history of producing collections and showcases. I was most articulated especially with the runway visuals, SS18 designs, music selection, model selection, as well as cues and timing. I really did have 100 percent creative control in all aspects which I had refined over for weeks, which meant the day of the show was a breeze.
Like I mentioned we really loved the collection you showcased at F.A.T. The use of the red, blue and gold colors along with the representation of the crowns. Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind this collection?
Blue and red represent the opposites which is why I chose them for UNDERGROUND MONARCH - a concept that brings two opposites together. Blue is calming which in my opinion, represents a job well done. Red is the color of pure passion and love, which is a color I am all too familiar with. Gold and black were also main themes because it defines regality at its finest.
How did you get into showcasing at F.A.T? What made you say: “I want my collection to be showcased on this platform”?
I assisted 69 vintage in 2016 with her show, a few months after moving here to Toronto. I also saw Evan Biddell produce REBEL, a David Bowie tribute simultaneously for FAT.
Last year I decided to show my debut Toronto collection, SS17 "Ride Or Die" and it was a phenomenal turnout- it sold out and I felt the love from the fashion community at FAT.
So, you’ve been deemed the eco-friendly label. For your pieces in your collections you recycle vintage clothing, which we think is so unique. What pulled you in the direction of recycling pieces rather than making something from scratch?
I was sixteen years old, living in Saskatchewan, and extremely broke with zero sewing skills. So my first pieces were studded and splattered leather jackets with appliques of all sorts. As the years went on I learned the craft and shadowed my designer friends as well as took sewing lessons outside and inside the school environment.
When did you first get into fashion designing and what made you want to get into it? Was there something that sparked your interest or was it something that was always in you?
LADY GAGA was badass and so DIY when she came out in 2008. I was 14 at the time and screamed when I saw her aesthetic which made me go overboard with my personal style. I would literally go to Walmart in Saskatoon decked out head to toe in high street conceptual designs which turned heads and really caused a controversy.
As you started growing your label what were some hurdles you had to overcome?
Zero support from family members, relentless bullying from my peers, hate speech in public, complete isolation, and later on, addictions, abuse, homelessness, and severe mental health issues. I worked jobs like dishwashing, bagging groceries, mowing lawns, and cleaning. All in hopes of one day making it as an artist in a world where I felt like a piece of discarded trash.
After seeking help for years, I grew up to be a kindhearted soul, mindful thinker, hard worker, and a loving human for all beings that surround me. All of the hurdles that once almost killed me made me the strongest person I have ever known. It made me depend on myself for my own happiness, success, and peace of mind. I can relate to people of all walks of life and create clothes for them now and share an authentic connection which keeps them coming back.
In your own words, how would you describe your label today?
It is a redemption of all that goes on internally within myself as well as a cultivation of all that surrounds me. I am my work and my work is me.
What are some things that you would say have helped you become successful over the years of designing?
Total love and support from people who were once strangers. Mentorship from some of the best in the business, and giving myself the self love and true life I always deserved.
Success has to do with a disciplinary work ethic that awakens within when I wake up in the morning and goes to sleep with me at night. I even dream about working. Also it has to do with never taking any obstacle as an insult but as a learning curve. Every failure moves me forward just as every successful event does.
What do you see in the future for your label? What can we expect in the next few years?
I plan to go international by 2020. I still can't believe I have made the top ten sustainable designers in Canada, thanks to Fashion Takes Action; Canada's sustainable fashion award for the second year in a row.
I will only continue to go to bed late and wake up early and ride or die for my vision. I owe it to my fans and clients and friends I have accumulated all over the world. When they are sad I am sad. When they are happy I am happy. When they struggle, I struggle…
But when they thrive and I thrive, ANYTHING is possible between us.
Is there any advice you would give to aspiring designers in Toronto, who may be looking to create their own label?
Never stop creating. Never stop loving yourself. Never stop discovering who you really are. And never stop asking for guidance and help. Every road that leads to success and happiness is found inside of you.
How would you describe your personal style?
Something between a lost boy and a refined prince.
Who would you say you look up to most in the fashion community? Who would you love to collaborate with if given the chance?
My door is open for anybody to collaborate with; recognized or not. I would love to work with somebody who shares the same values, sustainability, kindness, and ethics.
What can you be found doing when you aren’t designing?
Oh baby, that's not even a thing. I am always working!