Jennifer Torosian Reveals Spring Summer 2016
Jennifer Torosian worked the retail sales floors after university learning the market from the ground up, all the while knowing she one day wanted to have her own brand. Eventually Jennifer crossed paths with Raed Ali, another budding entrepreneur who had the dream of launching a brand as well. The two joined forces to create the label Jennifer Torosian three years ago.
Fresh off the runway this May at Toronto Fashion Incubator’s TFI New Labels competition, where the duo made it to the final round, they are excited to now share their Spring/Summer 2016 look book here in this #stmINTERVIEWED. Below Jennifer talks about the collection, being a designer and what inspires her.
Jennifer Torosian and Raed Ali
STM – Who do you design for?
Jennifer – The woman we design for is well-informed about the world, appreciates quality, and understands fashion. She is a modern woman with an active lifestyle: she works, she’s social, she travels. So we create clothes that can transition well between these aspects.
STM – What was your design inspiration for your Spring/Summer 2016 collection?
Jennifer – We wanted to continue exploring the sport-luxe aesthetic we are interested in. So we were focused on the fabric choices and how this adds to the feel of the collection. We also had fun with playful volume and colourful prints.
STM – What are the key elements we are seeing here in this collection?
Jennifer – Unexpected fabric combos were important for us so mixing cotton with something more technical like our perforated mesh or mixing tweed with a techno nylon trim adds an element of surprise.
Utilizing athletic details like elastic cuffs, industrial snaps and exposed zips add to the inspiration. We use these elements to help reinterpret our classics.
…being patient with yourself sometimes can be difficult…
STM – What are the special technical finishes on your fabrics and what do they do for the garment?
Jennifer – The fabrics we used add to the essence of the collection. We used this stretch poly that has a light spongy quality so it has great body. We mixed it with a textured nylon that is papery thin, and that is very soft and light weight.
We used different qualities of mesh throughout the collection, both inside and outside of the garments: both of stretch quality, but one is thin and fine and the other is made from a bonded jersey so it is very strong but unique. This creates a different drape between the two fabrics.
STM – Which items from your Spring/Summer 2016 collection do you feel are the most versatile and why?
Jennifer – Our vermillion zip jacket is versatile (above left.) It is half lined with mesh contrast on the inside. It has large elastic cuffs and band as well as an exposed zip. It’s a great piece for layering throughout the season and it is a key piece made from one of our techno fabrics.
Another piece I really like is our three-tone dress (above right.) It mixes our custom prints with jersey. But what I really like about this piece is the unique hem, handkerchief style, which was a design detail we used throughout the collection.
STM – What do you find most challenging as a designer?
Jennifer – Building a brand takes time and patience. So just being patient with yourself sometimes can be difficult like in any profession.
STM – What skills have you brought with you from your past career that you find beneficial in the business of fashion?
Jennifer – I always think that all of our past experiences help with the role that we are currently in. I studied Fine Arts and Multimedia at McMaster, so developing how to approach my collections critically has helped me. Also, I am proficient with computers to help with designing. My experience in luxury retail has helped me with customer service, and understanding my clients better.
STM – How do you use social media for your brand? What works for you?
Jennifer – We use instagram the most as we can show a variety of aspects of the brand: inspiration, new collection pictures, behind the scenes, and what will be next. Check out @jennifertorosian for our latest posts!
STM – What do you find most exciting about fashion?
Jennifer – There are so many possibilities and so many ideas to share. Each collection can represent something so different, but I love how the DNA of the brand connects it all. Having a new start each season is also exciting!
STM – If you could pass on one piece of advice to women rebuilding their wardrobe, what would it be?
Jennifer – I would offer her to consider what it is she would like to look like, and slowly build her wardrobe based on those intentions. If she is rebuilding, then the suggestion of purging out the old items as new pieces are introduced would be a good idea.
I would suggest buying quality made garments. Look for pieces that are special and work well with her lifestyle!
STM – Which menswear brand do you feel is in line with the aesthetic of Jennifer Torosian and why?
Jennifer – I am inspired by the menswear brand OAMC for their use of techno fabrics and detailing. For menswear, I love how they reinterpret classics with unique twists based on their textile choices. I also love the more athletic details seen in RTW fashion garments.
(Behind the scenes of the look book shoot.)
Head shot (black and white): Javier Lovera (Judy Inc.)
Look book: Lily and Lilac (Judy Inc.)
Behind the scenes photo courtesy Jennifer Torosian.