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In early September, Toronto fashion designer, Tara Rivas, launched her debut label TMR Collection. The inaugural Fall/Winter 2015 showcase was held at Montecito, attended by local talent and praised on social media. And that’s just the beginning for this talented 23-year-old.
Rivas, founder and designer of the contemporary women’s wear line, credits her Scandinavian roots (with a hint of Latin American influence) and love of all things fashion for igniting the dream of designing her own collection someday.
As a strong advocate for locally sourced fabrics and notions, TMR is a proud supporter of Canada’s garment business. All pieces are designed and manufactured in Toronto. Her first collection, which has been in the works since June 2013, consists of clean, structural designs that result in an effortless look.
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Western Ontario, Rivas interned for a Swiss fashion designer that specialized in fine crystal embroidered silhouettes. The experience helped hone her strong attention to detail. From there, the initial seed of designing her very own collection continued to grow.
With her innate talent, hands-on design experience and passion for the craft, Rivas started creating clothes to suit her own unique sense of style before recognizing the potential for a larger audience.
Rivas’ youth and aspirational appeal are part of what makes the line so desirable as she understands and relates to the target demographic. Knowing first-hand what the modern woman is looking for puts her at an advantage when breaking into the fragmented apparel industry.
I recently had the chance to chat with Rivas after her TMR collection debut about what it means to be a Canadian fashion designer and her journey to self-discovery as a young creative.
How would you describe the collection in a few words?
Our philosophy is to offer women maximum style with minimum effort! The debut collection consists of clean and effortless looks that easily transition from day to night. Through subtle design cues, unique structural cuts and quality fabrics for comfort, TMR offers a refreshing approach to ready-to-wear clothing.
What comes next for you now that you’ve launched your first collection?
Now that the first FW15 collection has launched I will continue to promote it, while finalizing designs for Spring/Summer 2016 simultaneously.
Is there anything interesting you would note about the clothes? Do you have a favourite piece?
The FW15 collection features a reversible dress, which is very versatile and great for travelling! We are planning to feature reversible garments throughout each collection in the future.
How did you get started as a designer?
I have always been drawn to fashion and designing my entire life. For as long as I can remember, I have been altering and editing clothes to fit my personal style, which eventually led me to create custom-made clothes. It was really a natural progression that led me to launch TMR Collection.
Have you been designing and doodling since you were little?
Yes, I have always had a sketchbook. I even keep a sketchbook by my bed for those times I “dream” of new designs.
Where do you draw inspiration from in the design process?
My way of designing is somewhat backwards. I tend to get inspired by the fabrics first then the designs come after. I drape the fabrics on a mannequin to see how they fall on the female form. Then I brainstorm and sketch up the design.
How did you decide to produce and manufacture locally?
To be able to support the Canadian economy with local manufacturing is very important to me. It also allows me to oversee and approve everything from start to finish, which minimizes room for error.
What is a typical day-in-the-life like for you as a young fashion designer?
My schedule changes from day-to-day, but I am constantly on the go going to meetings, appointments and fittings. It doesn’t feel like work to me. I am so grateful that I am able to do something I love every single day.
Original article published on 2015/10/21 for Normale Magazine. Link no longer available due to website re-design.
I graduated with my masters at the end of May 2015. My schedule was intense: between attending classes, library living and writing sessions, the majority of my time in Boston was devoted to the craft. Previously, I worked long hours for many years at a corporate marketing job in New York. When I finished this spring I decided to finally take some time off from the demands of the real world for a summer of freedom and adventure. I didn’t know how much my mind and body were lusting to be let loose until I gave myself the space to run free.
This summer marked the first time in my life where I consciously allowed myself the luxury of time. I discovered how to pause my plans for the future, relinquish ghosts of my past, and how to truly live in the moment.
I soaked in sunsets and warm salty air, tasted the freshest food, went on coffee crawls, road-tripped across the desert, explored canyons, floated through hidden lagoons, swam in secluded turquoise waters and pushed my body to the limits on mountain hikes.
Embracing the raw beauty around me coupled with the sounds of silence allowed for pure moments of clarity. I discovered the art of slowing down. In that state of nirvana, everything and nothing made sense.
I was present.
Original article published on 2015/09/18 in Normale Magazine. Link no longer available due to website re-design.