Canadians You Need to Know Now: Brigitte Chartrand

We hate a humblebrag, so we’ll just come right out and say it: some of fashion’s most game-changing creatives have True North origins, and we’re here to make it known. From a seriously muse-y artist-photog-it-girl to the editor-in-chief of the industry’s most trusted news source to the visionary buyer behind the world’s coolest online retailer, here are the Canuck insiders ruling fashion today

canadians in fashion

(Photo: Alexi Hobbs)

Known for its edgy, fashion-forward mix of high-end labels and streetwear brands, SSENSE has grown from a boutique in Old Montreal into arguably the world’s coolest and most successful online luxury retailer, with an estimated nine figures in annual sales and upwards of 10 million visitors a month. Although founder and CEO Rami Atallah is the face of the business, buyer Brigitte Chartrand is the force behind women’s fashion. “We buy more than 400 brands, but what sets us apart is the strength of our curation,” she says. “Our audience is young, creative and open-minded. They’re early adopters, so it’s important for us to believe in newness and have a unique point of view.”

In the two and a half years since she’s been at SSENSE, Chartrand has not only brought on brands like Vetements, Off-White, Loewe and Noah, but actively blurred gender lines as well, bringing men’s collections like Gosha Rubchinskiy, Raf Simons and Wales Bonner to the women’s category. “We’re always looking for what’s new and next, but also natural and not forced. Nailing that balance is key.”

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