Q&A with Smythe

We sit down with Toronto's newest must-have label.

April 20, 2015

Smythe, the breakthrough brand hailing from Toronto, has earned itself a spot in the pantheon of coveted international it-names. Founded by duo designers Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe, Smythe is known for their perfectly tailored blazers that take any woman from day to night. The company recently launched the Spring 2015 Collection at Holts and it’s filled with beautifully structured east-coast preppy meets chic-beach-girl pieces. We had the opportunity to check in with the ladies at Holt Renfrew to review their new line and talk all things fashion – definitely leaving us dreaming about adding a new blazer to our wardrobes.

1. When did you have your ‘Aha’ creative moment and know you should/would join forces to launch SMYTHE?

Fashion has always been a part of our friendship – a magnetic part.  We have known each other since high school and always wanted to do something together, we admired each other’s aesethics and had always dreamt that we would do something together one day.  We had the fantasy of having a store, but soon understood that retail was difficult. About 12 years ago, we decided to design a jacket line.

2. How would you describe the SMYTHE woman?

We’re known for our very tailored bodies, which we project in our collections. The Smythe woman takes care of herself, she’s health conscious, and she wants a tailored jacket to show off her figureThe Smythe woman is psychitsophrenic in the way she dresses – sometimes she is boho, but sometimes she wants to be preppy.

3. How have your personalities/personal styles shaped the line?

Its hard now to even say that our personal styles are distinct – it’s blurry!  But there are certain parts of the collection that we separately gravitate towards. When designing, if we both love something, it’s probably a winner. Even if we know it wont be a commercial success, we need to show people where we’re at in our minds.

5. Does living in Canada and specifically Toronto (cold winters; humid summers) influence the fabrics and styles you use in your designs?

Yes, and yes. We have to be careful that we don’t use such thick wools – there’s only a very small North America population that wants something that heavy!  We don’t want things to turn into a parka – but we do love super heavy, cozy-cabin fabrics.

6. Which blazer is your go-to for a night out? Which one is your favourite for a casual Sunday afternoon?

Andrea: Saturday night out, I’m wearing a cool pant and choose a strong shouldered blazer – the black Cut Out – its edgy and strong.  On Sunday, I’m walking around in the Utility Jacket, track pants, and birks. It goes from structured to unstructured.

Christie: The Military Jacket and the Beach Jacket are so easy for me.

7. Will there be a men’s line of iconic Smythe jackets?

Never say never. We’ve made one men’s blazers for our husbands and our dads, and we are doing custom ones as gifts for a our friends now.

8. We’re excited for Smythe’s Spring line-up; can you give us a hint of what to expect?

Something for every kind of mood, weather, and lifestyle. Whether you’re on a date, out with your girlfriend, with your children, hiking, or at Whistler village – we have things that you can wear. We never have a theme – we figure out what we want in our closet and hope that other people want and need it too.

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