Thursday, November 24, 2011

[Un]Discovers: Noëlly Sam AKA Miss SLY!

12 Months of [Pop Up] Flavors is almost coming to the end and there is no way I am not including this particular person in this project. Noëlly Sam is one of the biggest supporters of this site and she has been my partner in crime for many projects. I am so happy that she is taking our idea, Fashion[Unfold] to a whole new level and today, it is my honor to put her under my spot light and read what she thinks about this past year.

In case you do not know, Noëlly Sam is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of miss SLY! one of Canada’s Top Fashion sites, and the Executive Producer and Host of the fashion debate series Fashion[Unfold], hosted monthly on Twitter.

Noëlly in DeMOYO

Noëlly, thank you so much for being part of this experimental project and now I have prepared some questions just for you. I know miss SLY! has a new image this year and the site is looking really good! Have you ever imagined miss SLY! to become one of the most important fashion sites/blogs in the Canadian fashion industry? Are you happy with what you are doing right now?
Well first of all, thank you for having me as the closing feature for à la mode. 2011 has been quite a year. Getting into fashion has been one of the most revealing and rewarding experience for me. And for miss SLY! to be featured on Canada’s top 10 most influential fashion sites/blogs is both thrilling and a great reminder that I should always listen to my guts.

miss SLY! is growing at a steady pace, with contributors and partners from Canada and abroad joining into the mix and bringing us more fashion features, industry interviews and emerging talents, and I am grateful for it all. 2012 will be an interesting year for miss SLY! so I’ll remind myself to take it one post, one debate and one sleep at a time.

Congrats on all your achievements this year and trust me, your hard work does pay off!  Well, let's talk about Fashion[Unfold], an idea we have developed since last year and has been growing ever since. Do you think Fashion[Unfold] is injecting a positive energy to the industry? What is the direction you want to go with Fashion [Unfold] next year?
Fashion[Unfold] emerged from a genuine need to connect fashion enthusiasts together (Bloggers, Designers, Magazines etc…), to exchange and learn from everyone involved in the Fashion industry. It’s a constructive and informative dialogue that benefits everyone participating, whether it is for networking, crowdsourcing or branding, or simply interacting and I think that’s a positive thing.

The thrill and butterflies I get every month from producing the debates, is always met by equally excited and eager participants who can’t wait to tweet, and that’s what makes it even more fun. We just celebrated our 1st anniversary in September and as we enter year 2, Fashion[Unfold] is now partnering with key online medias, emerging and established brands, to connect even more fashion industry people together, so keep an eye on what’s to come.

I am proud to know our idea has turned into a very positive energy and attracted a lot of people to participate this once a month event on twitter! May 2012 be another amazing year for Fashion[Unfold]! So, you have attended both Ottawa and Montreal Fashion Weeks this year, what do you think of the fashion industry in general in Canada?
The Canadian fashion industry is definitely blossoming and evolving, especially from a digital media standpoint. If you take Ottawa for example, the number of bloggers and online magazines has almost doubled since 2009, it’s quite impressive to see. Also, Ottawa Fashion Week has really stepped up their Fashion Game in the past 2 seasons or so, they’re getting participation and attention from Toronto, Montreal and overseas, and it’s only getting bigger and better.

We also see a lot more talented emerging brands gaining more exposure across Canada. During Montreal SS’12 fashion week for example, a good portion of the Designers showing were local emerging talents (Travis Taddeo, UNTTLD, !Nu.I...), Toronto also had a great cast of newcomers i.e.: Golnaz Ashtiani, because I still want that jumpsuit.

This is the Jumpsuit Miss SLY! wants from Golnaz Ashtiani
I was fortunate enough to see Golnaz Ashtiani show during LGFW and I am truly in love with her collection! She is definitely one of the designers we all need to put on our radar! In your opinion, what was the biggest Canadian fashion news in this year?
So many of them, between Montreal moving up its Fashion weeks calendar strategically, to raise its level of competitiveness and profile both nationally and internationally was a big one, Joe Fresh taking a bite out of the Big Apple and of course Arthur Mendoca returning to the runway, during Toronto LGFW SS’12.

On the other hand, I think the biggest news to me in this year was leaning towards the negative side. I am sad to know that NADA and Andy Thê-Anh are no longer in business but I hope one day, they will have a come back! Well, let's get back to the active designers. Which emerging fashion designers have caught your eyes in 2011? Why are they so special and think people should know about him/her/them?
There are so many of them, but for the few that stood out, I’d say:

- Martin Lim (Mercedes Startup Winner) is sophisticated, high quality and absolutely wearable. Makes you want to own every piece from their SS’12.

- Anomal Couture, is sexy and powerful, think modern geisha with a boudoir twist. The SS’12 collection was definitely one of MFW’s highlights.

- !Nu.I by Vicky Joseph, is feminine, fun and strong. The SS’12 collection is animal prints meet tribal accents, lots of statement pieces.

- DeMOYO, is bold, very glam and fitted for a lady with attitude. The SS’12 is again wearable and there’s something for everyone.

- Sarah Stevenson, whimsical, artsy and feminine Impressive that she does all her prints. A SS’12 collection of unique pieces.

I am a huge fan of both Martin Lim and Sarah Stevenson! Their designs are really beautiful! Now, I am going to put you under the red hot spot light - Do you think the Canadian fashion industry is lacking a certain factor? If so, what is it and how can we improve it?
I wouldn’t say lacking. We’re finding our way on the fashion map, slowly but surely. I’ve attended Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa fashion weeks, and I can guarantee you that we’ve got talent and creativity to last us for years.

Everything takes time, and seeing how things have evolved in the past three years, I think we should continue to innovate and push the boundaries at all levels, not just designers but online medias as well, especially in the digital era we live in. There are great opportunities to be created so now isn’t the time to blend in.

I would really want to see what will happen in the next 3-5 years as I do feel that people are starting to recognize the new talents and it means Canadian fashion industry is moving towards the right direction! I was in Montreal this February and realized the fashion crowd was very different than Toronto. Do you think the public in Montreal is very supportive when it comes to local fashion?
The great thing about Montreal is that many local boutiques sell Montreal Designs, making them available to not only fashion fans but to the general public as well. Boutiques like Unicorn, Three Monkeys and Razberry (1861) just to name a few, sell local designs which is a great way to support Designers. Montreal Fashion Bloggers also benefit get great support and exposure in the citie’s fashion initiatives i.e.: Five Bloggers / Five looks at the FMDM11. On a much larger scale, Denis Gagnon teamed up with Bedo lately on a Collection called Odasi.

It's great to have so many boutiques supporting local designers and I think this is the only way to let the designers to continue to grow. Last but not least, what do you think the Canadian fashion industry will look like in the next 3-5 years? Do you think there will be more emerging fashion designers going to become stable brands for the Canadian industry?
It’d be great to see Emerging Designers actually emerge and establish themselves as stable brands; Canada has so many deserving ones and it’s always crushing to see labels fold or move out of Canada, to seek greater opportunities.

We need to continue to inspire, innovate, and create ways to promote our designers, locally and internationally. As seen with online Initiatives like Ukamaku and Fashion[Unfold], which both didn’t exist two years ago, the power of social medias is huge and grants us possibilities to reach out and grow in so many ways and must take advantage.

Thanks so much to Noëlly for letting me to feature her as the last person to be on [Un]Discovers in 2011 and I wish her, Miss SLY! and Fashion[Unfold] all the best next year! [Un]Discovers will now in hiatus until next year, stay tuned to see what this site will have for you in December!

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