Hayley Elsaesser on Fashion Design & Individuality

Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri.
We met the founder of Toronto's buzziest label.

Since launching her eponymous brand out of fashion school in 2013, Toronto's Hayley Elsaesser has become one of the hottest local names to rocket to notoriety.  Known for her punchy graphic prints, bright palette, and open casting calls, Hayley's brand has successfully evolved from a student project to a thriving business - boasting both a buzzy e-commerce site and a bricks and mortar location in  Toronto's hip Queen Street district.

We caught up with Hayley this summer to discuss what it means to be a young designer in today's competitive climate and what she stands for as her brand continues to grow.

"I think a very important lesson is that you have to be true to yourself," she says.  "A lot of times in fashion people take themselves too seriously and try to be something that they're not, and I've seen fellow students that I graduated with doing that kind of thing, trying to be, like Alexander McQueen, or something else.  That's not the path that you're supposed to be following and if you do something that is more true to yourself and more organic, it's a lot easier."

Image via hayleyelsaesser.com

Read more: Catch our interview with New York designer Tanya Taylor.  And if you haven't subscribed to our YouTube channel yet - do it now!

Tia Elisabeth Glista is the founding Editor in Chief of Couturesque Magazine.  She is also a textbook Taurus (ambitious, aesthetically-driven, very stubborn) who can at any given time be found listening to BANKS and looking at pictures of puppies.  Click here to follow her on Instagram. 

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I founded Couturesque Magazine when I was 15 years old because like many of my peers, I felt ignored and talked down to by all of the other teen fashion publications out there. I figured that at the end of the day, the people who knew the most about my generation, were the people who belonged to it. The fashion industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the creativity of younger voices who challenge the status quo and make us rethink what we wear and why we wear it. And that is exactly what Couturesque set out to celebrate - authenticity, intelligence, originality, and diversity... in other words, what makes Gen-Z tick. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have a staff of more than a dozen fashion distruptors contributing to our daily content from all around the globe, 100K+ readers following us from Toronto to New York, to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, and a plethora of big-wig industry fans and collaborators. But what matters to us the most is the responsibility that our publication has to make a positive impact in the lives of those who come across it - we stand against retouching our photoshoots and we stand for sharing the beautiful, individual, complex voices of everyone, especially those who feel marginalized by mainstream fashion media. We hope that you love our site as much as we do and that you take the time to follow us (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr / Snapchat / YouTube) throughout our journey to make fashion accessible to the powerful young adults of today.

Tia Elisabeth Glista
Editor in Chief