It is hard not to be smitten with Toronto’s Jules Power. Seasoned, yet humble, she approaches each new development in her career as a ‘moment.’
What do I mean by this?
In talking with Jules, it became clear that every step she has taken was made with purpose. Leaving Danier, she aspired to fly solo, but Roots beckoned, offering the kind of independence that most young designers find hard to pass up. Jules notes, “it was a great experience – they sent me all over the world.” Fortunate for Jules was her first child, a presence that allowed for some time to distance from Roots and begin her own life as a mother. Motherhood is bittersweet and as reality set in, she took a position at Joe Fresh, constructing low end trend items ad nauseum – surely there would be a way to break the mundane cycle? Enter baby number two. After a maternity leave, her distance and absence from her children made her seize the opportunity to once again, fly solo. At present, Jules is the head of her own company, Jules Power, a brand that strives to create quality womenswear for a more young and modern roster of clients. What a difference 10 years can make.
I was privileged enough to get a glimpse of what is in store for next season. Without exposing any major details, I will say that Jules maintains a very consistent aesthetic – there are many surprises in store, with some of your favourites from her debut F/W 2010 collection.
What makes Jules Power special — at least to me — is her oh-so-Canadian bent. She utilizes chambray and wool cashmere to create modern takes on classically Northern motifs, but the interest does not end there. I am fascinated by her attention to detail, even in what some may see as “mall fashion.” Mall fashion it is not. Quality cashmere, brass button detailing and an impeccable attention to tailoring set Jules’ pieces apart from the American Eagles of fashion. I likened her F/W collection to APC and Opening Ceremony and I do not regret it. I see in Jules what I see in them – quality craftmanship, a new take on the basics market and an attention on what sells (or what is in demand). It did not surprise me to hear that her sweat pants have officially sold out from Mendocino. Jules knows what women want.
As patterns and swatches scattered every inch of her beautiful studio, it was clear to me that Jules never stops thinking about the next collection. When I asked if she reaped the benefits of LG Fashion Week, — an outlet most criticize for its lateness in the buying season — both Liz Shaw (Jules’ friend and associate) and Jules agreed that showing in such a big space allowed for major media exposure and a chance to expose the brand to a public audience. They do not regret the decision for one second. It is just another moment to add to Jules’ list of experiences, and I was pleased to hear that the women behind the brand do not isolate its impact for a small, exclusive niche of media types. “At this early stage, we can’t exclude the people who buy the clothes over a limited preview to buyers alone. Getting the word out is a priority for any new designer.”
As a new brand, it is exciting to see the evolution of a company whose most iconic design is a tapered sweat pant. Jules says, “we came out at a time when sweat pants just happened to be gaining popularity. It will interesting to see what people will say as we continue to make them.” If you make them as well as Jules does, I have no doubt that women will snatch them up. Not sold yet? Have a look at some of my favourite pieces from Jules’ debut runway show at LG Fashion Week:
I’d like to thank Jules and Liz for being so hospitable. Jules still rules in my heart and I can’t wait for Spring/Summer.
For now, check out Chasse Gardee for Jules in Toronto and stay tuned for the relaunch of the brand’s online shop.
Studio photos by Kevin Naulls, Runway photos by James Kachan