Interview with Eco Sustainable Designer Stevie Crowne

Images by photographer The Codac. Models C.T Thorne, Gabrielle Badach & Stevie Crowne.

Please share about the journey that led you to fashion design.

I was always an artist in the making, but it took 16 years to find what suited me best. I began with acting as a child and then modelling as a teenager. I loved getting lost in character development and method acting from a young age. I then began modelling up until I was given my first chance to showcase my first runway collection in 2011 after only a year of reworking my own wardrobe.

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?

It began as a personal glam punk movement; punching in studs by hand in leather jackets as a teenager which is very time consuming. Then I began throwing paint allover my clothes in my parents' garage at odd hours of the night. Then I found my Dad's vinyl meant to restore car seats and would cut out symbols and trims for garments.

As I kept moving from city to city across Canada which includes Vancouver (aged 18-21), Toronto (aged 21-23), and Montréal (23-25), I learned different ways and techniques to better myself as a brand along the way. This year was the year I truly transformed and designed things I never thought was possible in my nature.

Each method of reconstruction and reworking has it's own set of roadblocks honestly. I currently find simplicity and intensity in each medium. All I seek going into 2020 is to be a better brand than I was yesterday. Other than sometime hiring me for contracted work, I run my own operations day in and day out.

Who you are as a designer?

I feel that my prior childhood artistic experience prepared me for the fashion industry, collection development and custom wear production. I consider myself as a method designer. Just as an actor reads a script and takes notes from a director, I create a mood board and take notes from my personal experiences and convictions to produce a full package concept for each collection.

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

It is hard to pinpoint my demographic because throughout my career it has been scattered. Sometimes it is that back to school kid going through bullying who wants to feel strong and unique. Sometimes its a woman in her late 20's going through a breakup who wants to feel sexy. Sometimes it is a non binary person who wants something that isn't on the gender spectrum. Sometimes it's a performer who wants to stand out and be bold on stage. Sometimes it is an everyday person who wants a modest t-shirt or accessory on a budget.

Every 6 months I release a new collection on a see now, buy now basis and the custom wear produced in that time period is typically inspired in its vision. Many people come to me with ideas entirely of their own as well or from old collections which I have lots of fun with! I encourage others to exercise their creative muscle when collaborating with me.

The challenge as a sustainable Eco designer upcycling one garment at a time by hand is the higher price of goods created this way. How do you help your customers understand the value of spending more for a quality handmade garment that will stay in their closet for a lifetime?

In terms of my Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Collections, I am always pinched by certain questions I have to ask myself. Are my collections usually expensive and do they also take months to make? Yes. Do I suffer to make them because I have a new vision with new methods that must be brought to life? Yes. With that being said, can I be 100% sure that everybody will be happy when putting them out regardless of what I have to sacrifice? Never.

My brand isn't for everybody and I have recently become okay with that. I don't feel I have to convince anybody to love what I do anymore. We are at a crossroads on this planet when it comes to sustainability and reality. I can only use my platform to promote inclusivity, and do my best to inform clients about budget allocation. I also hope they treat my clothes with care so they will last a lifetime.

In terms of custom orders and commissions however, I feel a strong and undeniable synergy with my customers. I become very close with them. I'm not just a designer to them. I am a friend, a listening ear, and someone who wants to make them feel included. If my client wants to buy something custom made from me, I do all in my power to produce them something special with their specifications, payment plans, and their budget range

How has your design work evolved over the years?

I would say it has been a slow ascension since 2017. Before that it was all practice runs. I have produced a lot of lines since 2011, but it wasn't until over three years ago that I began naming my collections and marrying a narrative and concept in relation to the aesthetics and materials incorporated.

I would say moving to Montreal last year was the turning point of a lot of things personally and professionally. I chose to focus on myself and my craft rather than the drama and spotlight. That being said, Toronto was the city that really pushed me to be the man that I am today. Toronto taught me to hustle from dusk til dawn and to always feel that fire beneath my feet.

I know you just released your new collection. What teasers can you share with us - inspiration, new directions, etc?

Fall Winter 2019 “Revolutions Per Minute” is a small, intellectual collection that I created in order to streamline my roots as a design creative and also plays into the narrative of how I view the world around me. With a new decade approaching quickly, I acted on the importance of intertwining intellectual design and re-imagined style altogether.

The FW19 R.P.M color palette comes from a simple and monochromatic standpoint. Chains, zippers, metal appliques, and stud + spike embellishments reflect on my earlier trademarks and give an overall dystonia feel to this product range. With plenty of climate marches taking place and millions of people attending global protests for change, I felt it was right to incorporate an anarchist edge into each garment while focusing on simple design. Many of us are fighting for revolution and it inspires me deeply. You can read more on my website where I wrote a 5 paragraph essay on the new collection (click HERE).

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

I don't just reduce, reuse, and recycle fashion. It is something much larger and more methodical than that. I reimagine, reinvent, and repurpose my brand each season alongside my own self. It's like clockwork and it can be a roller coaster that won't stop, but also never fatally crashes. It's like the seat belt has been malfunctioned for a while now and I am here on the ride of a lifetime.

I put all of myself into my work and I suffer a lot because of it, and I thrive a lot because of it. There's no magic formula to what I do and I have myself to hold accountable everyday. I celebrate all of the things that make me feel ugly, not enough, and disregarded (like the old clothes I sometimes choose to rework). I also celebrate the things that make me feel beautiful, special, and included (like the ways I turn the excess into wearable art).

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

My SS2020 ZENITH EUNOIA collection which has been slowly conceptualized since April 2019 come next. It will be the birth of a new decade and a whole new me.

I also want to eventually do a show internationally and have been receiving offers since last year to do so. I have shipped orders internationally and always feel a great bond and acclaim from international clients.

Links -

Website –
Instagram – @steviecrowne
Facebook –