Story by Paul Aguirre-Livingstone. Illustration by Ayalah Hutchins.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Rita Liefhebber, with her model-worthy looks (yeah, she was one), would be intimidating in person. But the Toronto fashion designer is as lovely as her mesmerizing mermaid hair—not to mention smart, down-to-earth, and—oh yes—talented.
Liefhebber has dipped her toe into almost every fashionable pond: modelling, assisting veteran stylist Lori Goldstein in New York, and overseeing the fashion pages as an editor at Flare in Toronto. Last fall, she launched her eponymous collection and continues to work as a stylist.
What I love about her is that she’s not afraid to dream big: She’s about to show during New York Fashion Week for the third time, a major feat for a new Canadian designer. Liefhebber isn’t about being a big fish in a small pond—she’s the girl who wants to run the empire.
Tell me about your journey. What made you decide to start your own collection?
“I started in fashion as a model at 15. I then became a stylist while living in New York and later moved back to Toronto. Shortly after, I became the fashion editor at Flare. New York called again and I returned to be Lori Goldstein’s first assistant. I had been planning on starting the line for the last few years but I didn’t want to pass up those opportunities.”
Do you have a favourite fashion memory?
“Assisting Lori on a Hedi Slimane shoot in L.A. He is cooler than you can ever imagine and he travels with an entourage of skinny well-dressed guys in a Rolls Royce. Amazing.”
Model Addison Gill with Ciara Hunt, editor-in-chief of Hello! Canada. Photography by George Pimentel. Story by Emily Blake.
Hello summer parties, heatwaves, sandals and bare legs! All of these were found at the Hello! Canada Style Icons event last week. Once again the Audi dealership on Bayview Ave. was transformed into the epicentre of Toronto’s stylish set. A red carpet, paparazzi pit, and swishy door gals indicate the scene inside—as glossy as the magazine itself.
With blow-ups of style icons hanging on the walls—Grace Kelly overseeing all with her cool-as-a-cucumber stare—guests rose to the fashion challenge.