Homegrown talent FTW: this Saturday, Canada’s fashion elite will celebrate the industry’s best talents—established and emerging—at the second annual Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards in Toronto. FLARE will be there (again!), and in the lead-up to the big night, we’re spotlighting some of the most exciting nominees.
Today we meet Mikhael Kale, nominated for the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. The Toronto-based designer studied at London’s Central Saint Martins (fellow alumni: Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Jeremy Laing, Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane…), and launched his namesake label in 2007. Fans of his bold, conceptual looks include Sienna Miller, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé.
In five words or less, how would you describe the woman who wears your brand?
The woman who wears Mikhael Kale requires no validation.
Tell us about the first time you felt awestruck by fashion.
It was my mother’s sewing machine: I was seven years old, it was 25 years old—the chemistry was instant.
It can be difficult for Canadian designers to resist the urge to set up shop in other countries. Why did you decide to establish your brand at home?
I am Canadian. Although I know we can do more to retain homegrown talent, Canada is my home—a home with a vibrant economy, made up of hardworking, like-minded individuals.
Can you share one major source of inspiration for you?
I’ve always been drawn to Futurism. It’s my constant source of inspiration.
It’s 2025: what does your brand look like? What do you hope to accomplish by then?
In the words of Quincy “Schoolboy Q” Hanley: break the bank!
The Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards take place Saturday, Jan. 31. Visit Flare.com throughout the week for more Q&As with the nominees!