Get to know KAZZ Clothing
It's hard to carve out a niche for yourself in the business world. Whether with an online shop like Either/Or, or a clothing line, the competition is stiff. It's even harder for designers like Ashley Kasdorf, who design with people and planet in mind. Either/Or's mission is to support Canadian, ethical and sustainable designers, because they're doing great things and they deserve as much support as they can get. Not to mention, consumers deserve more responsible fashion choices dang it!
These talented designers not only face the regular realities of running a clothing label, but they also have to compete with fast-fashion's low price points and ever-changing trends. The best way for Canadian ethical and sustainable designers to get ahead of this mass-consumption race is to, I think, appeal to consumers' need for transparency and for an authentic story behind the label.
So with Either/Or, I try to highlight the quality of the fabric and construction, the versatility and comfort of each piece and of course, the positive impact your purchases have on the labels I carry and in turn on the garment workers they support.
People often ask me why ethical and sustainable fashion is so expensive. My first response is: Well, it actually isn't anymore expensive than say, Club Monaco. My second response is: If we want clothing designers and manufacturers to pay their workers a fair, living wage, we have to be willing to pay more than we would at the Gap or Banana Republic. It's as simple as that.
Kasdorf's ethical fashion line, KAZZ Clothing, is a wonderful alternative to fast-fashion, ready-to-wear brands. KAZZ designs are minimal, with simple lines, neutral colours and a modern silhouette. I chose to carry some of her items for their versatility, comfort and quality.
KAZZ Clothing is made with care in Toronto, Ontario using imported fabric. I visited her cool warehouse studio last year and was so impressed by her attention to detail in every step of her design process. This attention shines through in each of her pieces and I look forward to seeing what she has in store in the coming seasons.
What’s your background, and what motivates you to do what you do?
I have a background in fashion design, business and marketing. My motivation? I love design and art in fashion. I truly enjoy creating designs and seeing them on people; I like to express myself through my clothing and be my own boss.
How would you describe your brand?
I love architecture and it has a huge influence on my designs – I like the angles. Music and different cultures can also really set the mood and can be reflected in the colour palettes I choose for my collections. My materials vary based on the season and collection. I value innovation and attention to detail in all my pieces.
What is your designing process?
After I come up with an idea I research the concept. Then I create digital flat sketches and patterns and order the fabric and sample the production. Next, I create a lookbook and present it to customers and retailers. Finally, I order full amounts, source the material and send it out to my manufacturers here in Toronto.
What does success look like to you?
I’d like to have an established Canadian label focused on bridging the markets of workwear, casualwear and streetwear. I want to sell to retailers across Canada as well as internationally in Europe and the U.S.
Thoughts on Canada’s fashion industry: “I believe in fair trade and building up our fashion industry here in Canada by designing and using our own resources.”