TORONTO — Fashion designer Bojana Sentaler says Canada’s current hot streak in outerwear is no flash in the pan.
The visionary behind a line favoured by Meghan Markle, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Kate Middleton says she’s honoured to have attracted such high-profile fans.
And she’s happy to see a rise in global attention for other Canadian labels including Mackage, Smythe, Canada Goose and Line the Label.
But Sentaler says this is more than just the “Markle effect” at work, pointing to years of steady growth that happens to coincide with Markle’s royal wedding to Prince Harry on May 19.
The brand, known for its ribbed sleeves, showed off a ’70s-inpired fall/winter collection Thursday in Toronto and is now taking orders.
New colours include lilac, violet, navy and a bright pink dubbed “atomic cerise.” New shapes include an A-line coat in super-fine alpaca with a ribbed detail across the body, and a bomber in baby alpaca with a stand collar and furry alpaca sleeves.
Several pieces introduce the fine hair of Suri alpacas, a rarer breed with fleece that produces a textured look and silk-like sheen. That includes a boucle coat with a straight silhouette and shawl collar that turns into an oversized hood.
Sentaler says her company has experienced rapid growth in the last couple of years.
“It’s been so incredible and very rewarding for me personally as a designer when Meghan Markle wore the Sentaler wide-collar wrap coat in camel during her first public event with the Royal Family and the Queen,” says Sentaler, referring to a classic coat she carries every season due to its popularity.
“For any designer I think it’s the biggest honour and my company has seen a very rapid increase in terms of demand. We’ve been getting orders from all over the world.”
Gregoire Trudeau wore an ivory coat in baby alpaca in 2015 to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s swearing-in ceremony, while the Duchess of Cambridge wore Sentaler’s wrap coat with ribbed sleeves in 2016.
“In general, Canada knows outerwear and I think it’s natural because of our geographic location and our very long winters,” says Sentaler.
“Outerwear and Canada go hand-and-hand and we have some great talent so I feel like I’m in great company with Canadian outerwear labels.”