When you hear the title “business executive” do you think of me? Do you think of a black, female entrepreneur, who, through fashion, is breaking down barriers and busting through ceilings to bring about a much needed change in the industry? I ask that you do.
I’m Stacey Martin, founder and CEO of Stacey Martin Lifestyle, a Canadian Luxe Loungewear company that pushes the boundaries of fashion by combining comfort, sustainability and style in a way that inspires you to make your own rules, tell your own story and fall in love with your current moment. But can clothing really do all of that?
Clothing is more than just something you wear. It can transform the way you feel, move, and interact with the world around you. As a former Broadway Dancer and forever professional performing artist, I know all too well the importance of having clothing that moves in harmony with the body, working for it and not against it.
When was the last time you opened your closet doors, grabbed hold of a garment and felt something truly special—a connection to a different place and time, a sense of pride in the quality and production, an unshakable desire to put it on?
There is no hiding it, these feelings of attachment, excitement and wonder between people and their clothing are ever more fleeting. And I think I know why.
The fashion industry is facing major challenges. Designers, shop owners and consumers alike have moved quickly, but not quickly enough, to adapt to the shift from brick and mortar to online sales. The days of seeing up close, holding in our hands and trying on under perfect lighting are fast dimming. And you can’t talk about the state of modern-day fashion without bringing up the destructive culture of fast fashion and the heavy price our planet is paying for cheaply and unethically made clothing. And how can cheap clothes feel anything but, well, cheap? Too often consumers are made to choose between comfort and style and I have yet to understand why two of the most important considerations are always at odds.
Despite the fact that underlying systemic racism continues to stifle creativity and stand in the way of opportunities belonging, equally, to talented people of colour, I am determined to address all of these issues and be an example of what is possible.
Once it dawned on me that I was the only one who could tell my story; the only one who could carry out my vision of the solution to these problems, everything clicked! It was the most beautiful aha! moment as I embraced the inspiration and started to work in harmony with my destiny. I have designed clothing that will inspire you to dream, take chances and create lasting memories.
Materials harvested consciously, ethically and meticulously have been stitched together with care, right here in Canada, giving employment opportunities to local professionals and boosting our economy in these trying times. From my sketch pad, to the mills, to the production line, to your body, there is passion and purpose throughout every step of the process.
It’s time to disrupt the industry. It’s time to reinvent the look and feel of luxury.
And there has never been a better, more important time for us to bridge divides and connect on the basis of something so much bigger than a trend.