By The Namesake was created by Toronto designer Rosa Halpern, who is making bespoke leather jackets for people looking for pieces that perfectly represent their individuality. Torontonicity was invited to experience the Namesake Artist Collaboration project at LUMAS Gallery in Yorkville for Day One of Toronto Fashion Week on September 4, 2018.
If you’ve been dreaming of a leather jacket with just the right fringe, accents, and hardware, but always find that designers are too heavy-handed with embellishment, than Namesake is the answer to your fashion prayers. Browsing their lookbook is a great way to start, but don’t expect Halpern to simply mail you that exact piece, as it’s clearly intended to ignite and inspire your creative side.
Namesake is driven by collaboration, as customers living outside of Toronto can have canvas samples mailed to them to ensure that the style and cut of the jacket is what they’re looking for before starting the customization process. From that point on, they can pick the colour and type of leather, hardware, lining, and various other additions to create the perfect jacket to match their style. Nothing about this brand is off-the-rack.
The LUMAS Gallery space was packed with fashion lovers vying to check out the 13 unique jackets custom designed by various artists, including one who chose to remain anonymous. The Anonymous Artist piece featured human hair fringe in a gorgeous saturated raspberry colour. The juxtaposition of the classic edgy biker jacket with the flowing accent was clearly a crowd favourite!
Toronto’s own @karimolenash was DJing at LUMAS playing just the right artists – like Frank Ocean – to complement the Namesake brand: strength, confidence, and one of a kind individuality.
The majority of the pieces were hanging throughout the gallery, with guests walking around to see the full 360 design. I personally loved the Bobbie Burgers piece that featured a marble-like texture wrapped over the shoulder, accented by a pop of yellow. The fibers are all natural, and made with fox fur and ostrich feathers, so they also introduce a delicate movement to the jacket. Absolutely gorgeous!
There was only one white leather jacket, customized by Toronto tattoo artist Tara Zep. Her jacket had a retro-inspired vibe with barbed wire, studs, roses, and all the classic tattoo imagery. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear that all the work was done by hand, and drawn on with ink – the type attention to detail and orientation inherent to the tattoo world. Zep’s design takes the textiles’ nature into account and creates a second skin for the wearer – fantastic concept.
I love that the base jacket designs are named after influential women throughout history. The Icons line includes names such as The Yoko, Bonnie, Maud, Frida, and my personal favourite, The Georgia: a sleeveless biker vest that eliminates the bulky waist strap in favour of a longer and more androgynous silhouette. So modern, so clean, and truly so iconic.
Taking over the LUMAS Gallery space was the perfect way to kick off Toronto Fashion Week, as guests were invited to explore the space and get right up to each design. A typical runway show wouldn’t have done the collection justice, as it was driven by artist collaborations. I truly loved the Namesake presentation, as it set the expectation for the rest of the week.