Today we get to go into the studio of Leilanni Todd. Why is she a favourite? Well, that’s kind of a “duh” question, but just to enlighten you: Todd’s an independent designer in Toronto with loads of street cred—all the cool chicas want to wear her sexy silhouettes, floral prints, and airy lace pieces. We love to celebrate what’s happening locally, especially whether in Toronto or not, Todd’s aesthetic is right on the pulse of what girls want to wear.
Textstyles stopped in at Leilanni’s Chinatown studio to talk some shop. The day was 46 degrees celsius and without wilting or batting an eye Todd was game for a photoshoot, you’d never know from these shots. Did I mention she’s gorgeous?! So read our Favourite Q+A on fashion, being a designer and Liberace!
1. Tell the class what you do.
2. When did you fall in love with fashion?
I have always been in love with fashion as long as I can remember. My earliest memory would be dressing myself for picture day in Grade 2. I wore a head-to-toe pink outfit, blouse, cardigan, skirt, and frilly socks, complete with a pink polka-dot bow tie. Sounds terrible, looked awesome!
3. When did you know you wanted to make a career out of fashion?
It was during my studies in art history in Florence, Italy, (I went to OCAD Art Direction and Advertising). That experience changed everything. Soon after, I worked for a designer and realized I could do this myself.
4. With your eponymous label you have also designed for brands, others in the past, how do you find a balance between your personal work and when you are designing for someone else?
Its great to work for different companies, you learn what does and doesn’t work, enhance your skills, and establish industry contacts. However, it can be tough because you are essentially working two full-time jobs. To stay balanced, I keep focused on my end goal and then working for another company becomes a part of the bigger picture.
5. What is your favourite part of the creative process?
It starts with each new season. I love the process involved in bringing an idea to life and the things you learn along the way. It’s such a surreal and gratifying feeling to see a complete stranger wearing something of yours, which began as an idea that once only “lived” in your imagination.
6. If you were reincarnated and could do anything you wanted, what would it be?
I would be a world travelling beach bum and experience all the amazing places in the world, with a beach house for surfing and a winter chalet for snowboarding. OR I’d come back as Liberace (mainly for his capes, rings and piano pool).
13. Favourite spot?
A spot behind my house in Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Click through the slideshow to see more of Leilanni.
To purchase your own Leilani Todd go here: leilanni.com