Hello group, thank you so much for doing this interview. First up, how did you guys form the Deadly Nightshades?
Forces of the universe united us. Fate kept us together. Into the future we ride in search of our fortune & fame.
I am totally feeling the fate part, it is something I believe in all the time. Well, is the group still looking for new members? If so, what is the requirement to be a member of the Deadly Nightshades?
Panache. But no, not at this time. Not that we don't know plenty of rad women who would make awesome Nightshades, its just already a lot of artistic drive and opinion to harness. We also love the idea of women being active in typically male dominated communities. So instead of expanding DNS, we'd almost rather that more female collectives would form and rally behind their own initiatives - cycling, the arts or something else altogether. There is definitely power (and way more fun) in numbers, and it would be awesome to see more people taking advantage of that fact.
Now I hope there will be more collectives like DNS after people read this interview. I know each member of the group has a special talent in arts or fashion, can you tell my readers about the talents?
Well, we're a diverse bunch. Cat aka BigRed is the baddest taylor/accessory designer this side of the border, with her own line Chatton Rouge. She has worked with designers like Philip Sparks and Thomas, helping insure their production runs smoothly.
Laura aka Mzungu also has a background in fashion design, but is currently focusing her energy on freelancing as an illustrator. She has done everything from full sleeve tattoo designs, to editorial, to showcasing her artwork at the International Bicycle Film Festival in New York.
Kirsten aka Snow White is a commercial and fine art photographer and bike polo player. She also recently started curating art shows, as well as revamping the arts space of Manic Coffee Shop. She's JUST learned to sew at the beginner sewing classes that Kamakazi Irene runs out of her sewing/artistic space/design mecca the Make Den, and is currently taking bow tie orders.
Irene aka Kamakazi Irene, is a fashion designer. She owns her own sewing studio and school, The Make Den, where she is currently producing a clothing line called Make It/Take It - a wearable collection that people can buy, or make themselves at one of the many sewing workshops at the studio. She also teaches sewing to youth in conflict with the law, through a charity dedicated to creating urban peace, called PACT.
Patricia aka Cannibal Vixen co-designs and creates sustainable bag & jackets at Mariclaro during the day. When she gets home, there is a ton of paper waiting to be drawn on and cut up for art exchanges, installation art ready to be built, t- shirts to screen print, music to be performed, soccer & bike polo to be played.
Meg aka Meg aka MegO! is living and loving in East Van, working for Cog Magazine and Eco Fashion World in Ad Sales, along with repping Pedaler Clothing in Canada. She is also volunteering for Evergreen BC. She calls this act "hustlin'" and next time DNS is in New York she hopes to impress Jay Z with this. (Want to play? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) For fun she does stuff with things alongside some pretty rad people, but mainly spends her time on Facebook stalking Toronto. She'd like to learn bike polo but Robbie Boards keeps toying with her heart.
Niamh aka Namtron is a slammin’ fashion designer and yoga lover. Good thing she designs clothes for Lulu Lemon. Namtron also write’s her own blog on EVERYTHING to do with Seafoam. She resides in Van with her Bianchi, Doug and Squeekers.
I have to say each member in DNS is just super talented and I am glad Kyle introduced the group to me! If I am not wrong, you girls are working on a TV show right now, how is the experience so far?
It's always an adventure to explore every option presented to us when working in the arts - you never really know what to expect. We're still fairly early on in the process, so nothing is a definite. But as with anything - we won't know if it's for us unless we suss it out for ourselves. It's exciting to live in a time where you can promote your own initiatives through any variety of mediums.
I hope everything will work out for the group and hopefully I will see you on TV soon. How do you feel about the arts and fashion scene in Toronto? Do you think there is anything we can improve to make this industry better?
To expand. One of the goals of the Nightshades has always been to connect the strong arts scene to the amazing cycling community in Toronto. Both communities are thriving and there is endless potential for amazing collaborations between the two.
We’d also like to see more women designing/deciding trends for women. We’d love to see a resurgence of manufacturing locally with quality, and a return to practicality in "fashion". We think there has been too much of a spotlight put on all the uber trends and twitter, and that doesn't make for a sustainable business model or world.
I would love to see more women designers in the future as well as I think this city needs more people to expand the arts and fashion industry. What is the ultimate goal for this group? Does the group plan to break into the international scene?
Our ultimate goal is really quite simple. To engage in, and promote the relevance of the things we believe in, the arts, sustainability and bike culture - but, more importantly have fun while we're doing it. Oh. And step 3, and to become an animated series. :)
Now it is time for a little trivia for the group.
Bacon waffles/ boy’s hearts
Thank you so much to The Deadly Nightshades for answering my questions and I wish the group all the best! If you want to read more about the girls' adventure, please visit their blog here. All photos are courtesy of The Deadly Nightsahdes.