| Editor's Letter

A Muslim who works at Bikini Village– what could be more Canadian than that?When we asked writer Maryam Siddiqi to talk to women about how they balance fashion and faith (“Feel the Heat,” page 107), little did we know the stories she would uncover.

A Brazilian who moved to Montreal and converted from sleeveless and strings to Orthodox Judaism. An Ontario woman who dons different outfits for her parents, in-laws, husband and friends. Clearly summer, for some, is complicated…far beyond deciding whether your new sandals should be gladiators or platforms.

The other eye-opener in this issue is how much success Canadian designers have had selling swimwear. In “Catch the Wave” (page 54), senior editor Sarah Casselman profiles five brands making a splash on the international scene—led by Montreal’s Shan, which has 125 employees and distribution in more than 25 countries. We’ve also aimed to make your swimsuit shopping smoother with market editor Caitlan Moneta’s roundup of the best new suits (“Bathing Beauties,” page 72) and our Focus guide to the country’s swimwear retailers (page 174).

And don’t miss our two powerhouse fashion spreads. “Central Air” (page 138) sets breezy dresses and vibrant prints against the diverse beauty of Nicaragua. And “Lana Mania” (page 148) stars the compelling Lana Del Rey, who endured a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call to start hair and makeup for our 10-page story. Del Rey was a total pro, eating her lunch of spaghetti and chocolate milk alongside our team, and hanging in till her interview with features editor Elio Iannacci wrapped at 6:30 p.m

“I always feel that if you’re gonna be uncomfortable and unhappy in something, just because you think it’s in or it’s chic, I would advise you to be happy rather than well-dressed. It’s better to be happy.” — Iris Apfel


Local designers are redefining African fashion far from the cries of cultural appropriation levelled at Western designers like Valentino.

Today the continent is evermore relevant to the fashion industry worldwide. Global markets are not only looking to it as a sourcing destination but also as a source of inspiration.

Colour Trends

Whether it is for bright colours, patterns or prints the world is looking to African fashion. Tropical landscapes with lush green forests, fruits and exotic flowers are great sources of inspiration for designers worldwide. From traditional patterns to the animal prints that have now become a trademark in the fashion world, this fresh and new print language is heavily influenced by the continent’s style.

Substituting imports with local products

Too many of its countries have been dependent on second-hand clothing imports from Western countries. Times have now changed. In order to move away from this trend, a number of local designers are working hard towards creating fashion collections entirely made in Africa. “There’s a political system which has been going on for decades trying to keep our countries from branding themselves. We have enough resources and our eyes are now open,” explains Carine Zoe Umutoni, the fashion designer behind Onyx.

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