Over a decade ago, a young designer started making waves in the Vancouver fashion scene. Armed with a bag of thrifted garments, scissors, spray paint, glue, thread, needles and pins, Stevie Crowne was preparing for a pop-up in TheClosetYVR, a short-lived luxury vintage reseller in Gastown.
A little shy but filled with dreams, Crowne won over those who came to shop with his vision of creating and selling one-off pieces of repurposed luxury designs.
As with many who seek to create fashion in Canada successfully, the limitations and expectations become obstacles; ultimately, reality requires relocation. Whether it is to Italy like North Vancouver‘s Christopher Bates or to the fashion capitals of Europe like Toronto‘s Mikhael Kale, the desire to find a place that feels like ‘home’ where creativity is supported and lauded, becomes a survival necessity.
A Career of Self-Confidence
During a self-made career that has spanned over ten years, Crowne began producing and showcasing collections first in Canada, later expanding his company to the United Kingdom, Asia, and France, and curating an international audience by shipping worldwide. In London, he became a member of the British Fashion Council, showed collections at London Fashion Week, and dreamed of more. Paris beckoned, and now his demi-couture brand is based in France, manufacturing apparel by reinventing deadstock clothing and fabrics into seasonal collections, on-demand styles, and collaborative bespoke wear.
Driven by Design
His ethos is driven by inclusivity and accessibility via sustainable design, and his aesthetic is socially fueled. His work has been featured in Vogue and W Magazine. As a member of the British Fashion Council, he aims to re-configure solutions to the fashion industries’ monumental excess while re-framing manufacturing landscapes and consumer mindsets.
Collections Draw Celebrities to Wear
Notable people to wear the Stevie Crowne brand include Daniel Lismore, Jodie Harsh, Lil Peep, Laganja Estranja, Scarlett Bobo, BTS member V (Kim Tae-hyung), and Kristian Nairn. Crowne presented his latest collection and statement to Folio.YVR, and we are pleased to share it and facilitate your entry into his world.
Let’s Talk to Stevie Crowne!
Where do you see the Stevie Crowne brand going in the next 1-2 years?
The plan is to continue producing and presenting international fashion collections in the world’s fashion capitals alongside touring Europe and Asia. Europe has a traditional approach while Asia has futurist energy and I think that’s going to be the key to my company’s success. As a member of the British Fashion Council, I’d like to use my existing networks and future networks to build an honest and transparent, profitable environment professionally and to merge this with a creative rebirth that the industry has been lacking for quite some time now.
In the future, who do you see yourself collaborating with?
I think it would be great to work with luxury retailers and stockists, tour wardrobe + music video costumes, alongside continuing my demi-couture looks for my already existing client base. In so many ways I am already working with a network of individuals that I’ve always wanted to reach.
Do you believe that sustainable couture is key to fashion’s survival and why?
I think that’s a bit of a bold statement. I think what the key is to fashion survival is not something to end all be all in terms of a trend but perhaps what’s really going to be revolutionary is when more unassuming creatives are given the spotlight to change the industry internationally. Fashion needs to take more chances, and restructure the way the industry runs politically before we’ll see true change. One step at a time though. Sustainability is a great way to start the conversation. Sustainability should be looked at in terms of the production line alongside the people who work in the industry simultaneously.
Thoughts on Vancouver and where you are now?
Looking back to my time in Vancouver and where I am standing right now, I feel like I deserve every great thing that came my way. It was a little over 10 years ago when I first arrived for fashion school and later dropped out, and produced my AW13 runway for EFW [Eco Fashion Week] in 2013. I must’ve been 18 or 19 when I lived in Vancouver and I was still learning who I was, what I wanted to be, and where I wanted to go. I am somebody who was given nothing but made everything. I’m humbled to have arrived to the place where I am now; It’s a privilege to do what I love every day, to work with people who support my company, and to be provided the platform to do it.
Stevie Crowne: AW23 Phoenix Collection Statement
“AW23 PHOENIX is a collection that delves into the powerful concept of rebirth. Just like the mythical creature that rises from its own ashes, our latest offering embodies the spirit of transformation, renewal, and resilience. It is a story intertwined with my own journey as a self-made brand with a career that spans over 10 years across Canada, Europe, and Asia, working with a worldwide client base. As usual, it features innovative and sustainable materials, reflecting our commitment to environmental consciousness and ethical fashion. I believe that true rebirth encompasses not only personal transformation but also a positive impact on the world around us.
Phoenix was methodically designed to evoke a sense of chronological metamorphosis and renewal. Through carefully curated deadstock garments, recycled with luxury French fabrics, textures, and silhouettes, we aim to capture the essence of sustainable rebirth in each piece of clothing. Our colour palette is reminiscent of the darkest night as the base of each piece, merged with contrasted shades + textures such as pearls with opulent glitter mesh, gunmetal hardware with monochromatic embossed leather, rose gold foiled stretch denim, reflective, fiery reds embellished with jewel tones and barbed wire, and lastly, French beaded demi-couture fabrics. These hues + texture contrasts symbolize the new beginnings that come after the darkness, representing the dawn of a fresh start and the resilience it takes to realize one’s vision, to signify the beauty and the darkness together holistically.
Each garment is meticulously crafted with attention to detail, showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship that we are known for. The silhouettes in our collection are both structured and fluid, symbolizing the balance between strength and grace that comes with embracing change. Asymmetrical cuts, layering, and draping techniques represent the evolving nature of life and the beauty found in imperfections. From flowing gowns, striking plays on corsets, tailored blazers, reclaimed leathers and denims, our collection offers versatility for different occasions, allowing individuals to express their unique style as they embark on their own personal journey of rebirth. Through our collection, we aim to inspire individuals to embrace change, overcome challenges, and rise stronger, just like the mythology of the Phoenix.”
Visit Stevie Crown online to explore the latest collection.
To experience this story in glossy magazine format, click through to Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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