Interview With EFWA Upcycling Designer Stevie Crowne (Toronto)

Share about the journey that led you to fashion design.

I began to DIY all of my clothing when I was 16 years old in high school while trying to find my own personal sense of style. I was inspired by pop culture and outlandish design aesthetics. Accustomed to punk and glam infused visuals, I was fascinated by the type of fashion which turned heads being worn as reinvented streetwear. My talent agent at the time gave me a chance to show a five look collection in my hometown(Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). I proceeded to produce two shows before I headed to Vancouver in 2012.

I know you are self-taught. How did you acquire your skills - sewing, upcycling, embellishing and sizing? What came easiest? What was a struggle to learn?

I learned from my mistakes, which in my opinion is the best way to aquire an aesthetic being a design creative. It is the process of messing up multiple personal projects which gave me the fire to continuously discover ways to repurpose clothing. In the beginning I was not the best seamster so I stuck to embellishing, painting, applique, and stenciling as a way to transform each garment.

Over time I did begin to learn the fundamentals of sewing and construction through mentors like Evan Biddell once I arrived in Toronto. Even up until that point I felt as if each client I ever had in my past six years pushed me to learn more and more. There were never two purchases that were the exact same which definitely pushed me to newer heights each time.

Who you are as a designer? Aesthetic?

As a designer I am definitely keen on bold visuals, texture, and pop culture which is translated to reimagined streetwear designs. Each collection I produce is recycled and reworked vintage which focuses on a theme or underlying message.

For example, my 2013 Vancouver Eco Fashion Week collection debut was focused on post apocalyptic aesthetics. This was translated through military jackets, religious symbolism, and heavy use of studs and spikes.

For my debut Toronto SS17 Ride Or Die collection, themes were based on relevant social issues including integrated diversity, addictions, education, and environmental awareness through the art of up-cycling. It tackles the way we communicate in today's digital age through popular symbolism.

Customer? Brand? Etc.? Do you offer a new line each season, create custom work or both?

My customers over the years have ranged from 14-40, depending on where I showcased the line or how I marketed/promoted it

This year already in Toronto, I have done five shows! One of which was surreal as it was showcasing the top sustainable designers of the year in Canada(Fashion Takes Action). With each show I have done this year nearly all of it has sold out, and I have had long waiting lists for orders.

My brand is self eponymous with my name. Crown is a metaphor for being true to one's own style journey and aesthetic. To be the ruler of your own choices in fashion. As a leader of my own brand I encourage the market to make the decision to support local and sustainable creatives.

Please share a little about your approach/inspiration for creating your runway look for this international show? What can the audience expect?

Currently, I want this collaboration to explain itself once it hits the runway and thereafter. I am currently about to begin moodboarding but have drawn inspirations.

What would you most like the international fashion audience to know about you as a designer and your brand?

First of all, this is a huge benchmark for me to be going international, even if it is producing one look for this showcase. I dreamed of opportunities like this in my childhood.

I truly exist within my work so you can definitely expect to see my usual aesthetic in what I will be showcasing. Fashion is my full-time job and I am entirely connected with my craft. It is essential to my survival as food, water, and oxygen is.

What's next for you as a designer? What are your long term dreams?

I see myself continuously producing eco friendly and repurposed collections for a long time(There will NEVER be a shortage of vintage + inspiration). It has been a thrilling, daring, and overall successful six years as a creative when I look back at all I've done since a teenager.

A large part of my success can be attributed to my everlasting hunger for opportunity and the ANGELIC mentors/ supporters/clients I come into contact with everyday.( I hope to continue to keep positive people around in my ventures).

My ancestors were pioneers of farmland in Canada's mid west. They truly created something out of nothing. I view myself in a similar way as I take discarded items(seen with no value) and repurpose them in a way that jacks the value back up for buyers.

I will continue to produce fashion shows, store collections, custom orders, and participate in projects that bring awareness to fashion consumers and the industry. My goal is to show that ethical fashion has the chance to change the world, one garment at a time.

Links -

Website –
Instagram – @steviecrowne
Facebook –