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My Top 5 Favourite Designers From the TFI Press & Buyers Brunch

Emerging Toronto Designers | The Lady-like Leopard

I’m a big supporter of local fashion. From heading to events to buying up locally made goodies, I like to keep it close to home. After all, we’ve got to support our own! Right? What I love most about TFI’s semi-annual Press & Buyer’s brunch is discovering new and emerging Toronto designers. These designers might be a little under the radar for most but they’re certainly on mine now.

As well as a fantastic breakfast, Toronto Fashion Incubator aims to bring together a curated selection of Toronto’s finest up-and-comers. Accordingly, the ballroom at the Ritz downtown is filled with jewellery, clothing, handbags and more. It’s also a fun time to meet and mingle with fellow fashion friends that I usually only see at events. And what better way to catch-up than over coffee, croissants and creative minds?

Unfortunately, I didn’t come across any leopard print (which I’m always on the look out for) items but that’s not to say there won’t be any in the future. Actually, I was chatting with one of the designers about creating a custom leopard piece for me! Here’s hoping that comes to fruition soon. Anyways, scroll down to see my fave emerging Toronto designers right now.

Emerging Toronto Designers | The Lady-like Leopard

Emerging Toronto Designers | The Lady-like Leopard
Photo: Brian @tarsipix for @georgepimentel1 Photography

Emerging Toronto Designers | The Lady-like Leopard

Emerging Toronto Designers | The Lady-like Leopard

Emerging Toronto Designers | The Lady-like Leopard

My Top 5 Fave Emerging Toronto Designers From TFI’s Press & Buyer’s Brunch

Lesley Hampton

My eye was immediately caught by the glittering number that I’m gazing so lovingly at in the feature image of this post. It would have been the perfect look for the re-opening of the Crystal Ballroom at the King Edward Hotel. Oh, well. That’s over and done with. I got to chatting with Lesley about her collection and discovered that she’s a major supporter of positive body image. In fact, this year at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week she showed a whole range of sizes on the runway! It’s something that we don’t see too often but definitely should look forward to seeing more of.

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Rocking Vibe

I actually met Liana, the woman behind Rocking Vibe, at last season’s TFI brunch. Afterward, we began a little collaboration together! I now have a growing collection of empowering jewels and also wrote a post about styling white tees for their blog. In terms of their gorgeous accessories, Liana crafts stainless steel, gold and semi-precious gems together to create statement pieces that are both raw and sophisticated. The brand is only 2 years old yet can be found in over 20 stores nation-wide! They’ll also be featured in Chloe Magazine this month, too.

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Gemine Design

Crafted from new & upcycled materials, Gemine Design is a line of handmade contemporary body accessories. They’re completely cool and I definitely need a bunch. I’m not kidding. Their spring 2018 collection is inspired by 1960s vintage costume jewellery—which is totally glam. Hello, women were so much more sophisticated back then! Bold jewels were meant to be worn all over town and that’s exactly where I’d wear Gemine’s pieces. Not to mention, their insta is a glowing haze of millenial pink which is totally on-trend right now.


I’m crazy about block heels and Ethereal has the perfect pair. Even if I do wish they were leopard printed or sleek black, I’d still rock this pair like no tomorrow. Their line of leather and rope handbags and shoes pays homage to the designer Sydné Barnes-Wright’s indigenous roots. Everything is made with vegetable tanned leather, cotton and other natural fibers to create chic, sustainable accessories.

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Hoda Designs

If you want to feel like a sexy and empowered woman, Hoda Designs will do just the trick. The brand was born out of Hoda’s desire to re-invent her wardrobe. No doubt, layering one of her handmade harnesses over your everyday ensembles will take your look to the next level. No two pieces are alike—which is something that I really like. Fashion tip: If you’re heading to a party or event alone, throw on one of these bad boys to spark conversation. After all, they’re designed to attract attention and engage style conscious eyes.

Melina Morry Signature - Fashion Blogger at The Lady-like Leopard

Feature image courtesy of Brian de Rivera Simon for George Pimentel Photography.


Melina Morry is the author behind the blog The Lady-like Leopard. She has a journalism/fashion design degree and all that other boring stuff but most importantly she's a master of her own spots and is always hungry for more adventure. Melina works as a writer and fashion journalist all over the world. She's been spotted in New York, Paris, London, Sydney and Toronto—to name a few. She loves to be raw, fierce and a rare breed. Follow along with her on social media at @ladylikeleopard.

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