THIS UP-AND-COMING LABEL IS MADE IN TORONTO & MEANT TO FLATTER
Story by Kate Gadiyeva
Photos provided by Leilanni Todd
Leilanni Todd is the designer behind Leilanni, a label that is designed and hand-crafted in Toronto. Her most recent collection consists of beautiful lace dresses, tanks, and shorts that are wearable and flattering on all. Todd graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) after studying Art Direction & Advertising, and started her label three years ago after an influential trip to Florence, Italy.
Todd spoke to Plaid about the inspirations behind her label, and gave us some advice on how to wear her pieces.
At what age did you decide to be in fashion? What inspired you to do it?
I have always loved fashion even at a young age. I made the decision after living in Italy, where dressing is an art form in itself; it’s when I decided I could make a career out of it.
What is your ultimate goal as a designer?
As a designer, my goal is to create pieces that have longevity and make women feel beautiful and empowered. It’s also really important to continue to produce pieces that are completely sweatshop free.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your brand?
Every time I design, I have an image of a girl in my mind who is cool, sexy, and fun to be around. That being said, she’s also easygoing and approachable. Those same thoughts apply to my brand.
How do new ideas come to you?
Ideas can come from everywhere. Because fashion is so visual, I usually need visual stimulants to stir up those creative juices. Inspiration can come from movies, people on the street, art, textiles, experiencing different cultures – it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly, they just sort of come.
What is your favorite piece that you designed? Why?
For the Spring/Summer 2012 season, I designed a pair of high-waisted shorts, with and without cuffs. Those shorts fit great on every body type that has tried them on and are really flattering.
I noticed that most photographs of your pieces are taken by you. How much creative control do you have in your brand?
In previous seasons I took most of the photographs myself, but this past season a friend of mine took the pictures. I have most of the creative control, but am always willing to collaborate and take on new ideas that someone else may have.
Your pieces have a lot of versatility to them. How would someone wear your racerback tank dress for two different occasions?
For a date night, she could wear them will some killer heels, accessories, and belt it. For a girls’ night out, she could wear it over some leather leggings.