They say it takes leaving Victoria make it in Victoria. This theory was recently proven true when hat designer Tierre Taylor left Victoria for Toronto in October 2014, after spending five years on the West coast working on her label Tierre Joline.
Most designers can only dream of what happened to Tierre Taylor months after she arrived Toronto. She became an overnight sensation when she was featured on the beloved Humans of New York (HONY) website on February 18th, 2015. Tierre’s photo was posted to the HONY website and social media accounts, along with a single quote: “I wish I could sell my hats unapologetically. Whenever someone compliments my hat, I only say, ‘Thank you.’ I wish I was bold enough to say: ‘Here I am. This is what I do. And you can have one, too.’ ”
The Tierre Joline collection is known for its modern, elegant style and use of high-quality and well considered fabrics and materials. She creates one-of-a-kind hats, fascinators, and hand-stitched couture pieces that include styles for every day or special designed for occasions.
Tierre returned to Victoria at the end of the summer for the first time since the big move. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a breakfast date while she was here. She even found the time to host a trunk show at Heart and Sole and lead a workshop at The Makehouse!
Jenny Ambrose: What do you miss most about living in Victoria?
Tierre Taylor: First and foremost I miss the great people of Victoria! My best friend is here and I adore the community. Living here, it was always a great treat to be surrounded by such awesome people. I also miss the beauty of the city and ease of lifestyle. I love the trees, ocean, and gardens. It’s truly breathtaking.
J: What do you love most about living in Toronto?
T: I have to say, I’m still getting to know Toronto. I’d say that it’s the opportunity that attracts me here. I’m interested to see career-wise what I can do in a large city. The mix of cultures is exciting and this city is full of stuff to do…no excuse to be bored.
- Do folks out East wear more hats?
- I’d say yes. I think the extreme weather there forces people to wear more hats in general, as keeping warm in the winter is a must, and protection from the sun in summer is important too. Although I do think wearing hats for fashion is on the rise and I see more and more people wearing hats than ever before. Which is exciting as it’s a fun accessory!
- Is it true that you have to leave Victoria to become known here?
- Hahaha… sadly true. How crazy is that? I would never have imagined that I’d ever receive the recognition I have, but it did take moving away. That being said, I always had support in the community while I was living there. It was just on a smaller scale.
- Has your style changed in the last year?
- Sure. It’s always evolving. These days I’m attracted to the idea of simplicity as a statement. For me that means keeping a strong line and using colour rather than embellishment to make an impact. I’m always attracted to a classic, elegant look, and that part really hasn’t changed.
- What are you working on right now?
- As I spent much of the summer not in the studio, I’m a bit behind. Therefore I’m finishing up some fall and winter styles, which will be photographed for my website. Then I’m going to jump into working on some spring and summer hats for next year. I have some commissions on the go, and I’m always trying to develop new looks. Other than that, since I’m still new to Toronto, I’m attempting to improve my networking skills.
words: Jenny Ambrose
photos: Julie Riemersma Photography