Canadian designer Kim Smiley to expand into India following visit from PM Trudeau
The Canadian fashion designer and ethical brand owner Kim Smiley plans on expanding her eponymous label into India after the Canadian Prime Minister and his family sported some of her designs on a recent state visit.
Kim Smiley is a fashion brand that aims to promote social change through its designs. The brand was recently in the news when the wife of the Canadian Prime Minister, Sophie Trudeau, wore several pieces of its jewellery and clothing on a recent state visit to India.
Smiley told Global News: “Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wearing the earrings in front of the Taj Mahal was so personally meaningful to me… about 30 years ago my family… sat in the very same spot,” referring to the several months she lived in India as a child.
Smiley currently employs a group of six Syrian refugee women in Canada who produce the brand’s products. “We’re into slow fashion. We’re into making a difference in elevating women,” said Smiley about the brand’s sustainable ethos.
Workers are paid a living wage of 18 Canadian dollars an hour that is designed to allow them to build a life for themselves in Canada. Smiley now hopes to expand production into India in order to employ women there too.
Smiley has spoken about her plans for India and said: “My vision for it is almost like a love letter from India to Toronto. So the women in India are going to create the clothes, and then the love letter will be sent back to Canada, and it’ll be finished by Syrian women here, who are going to hand sew the garment with the metallic lace that I use, which is kind of like my signature, and then the Swarovski crystal.”
Launched in October 2013, the Kim Smiley brand’s tagline is “beauty for the public good” and describes itself as “wearable art”. The brand’s various collections, including a bridal collection, are available on its own e-commerce store.
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