Stacey Martin Lifestyle, a Canadian luxury eco-conscious loungewear brand based in Ottawa, continues to grow its business with the recent launch into the fashion arena with the release of its inaugural limited edition collection, Go There – Remember Where You Wore Me.
Stacey Martin, founder and CEO, began her business after being a dancer on Broadway. Her first brand was called KANIA Couture and launched in 2009.
“During the pandemic I realized there was a big opportunity to scale my brand and I wanted to change the name to my name and be more of an extension of who I am. So the idea was to give attention to female black leaders, to give attention to women executives in the fashion world, to bring more attention to eco-conscious fabrics in that we don’t have to have fashion being so disposable and terrible for the environment, and to make clothing that is able to move,” said Martin.
She changed the name of the brand a year ago to Stacey Martin Lifestyle. She did an equity capital raise in February and today it also has 167 shareholders which was completed in May. She built the new brand over the summer and launched the collection recently.
The retailer has a storefront in Ottawa’s Byward Market, which is more of a studio space. The storefront was first opened in 2009 with about 500 square feet of space.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Stacey Martin Lifestyle promotes body positivity, wellness and self love. With a sophisticated, laid back, effortless island vibe the brand encourages you to see the beauty in your present moment.
“We believe clothing is more than just something you wear. Your clothing can capture an emotion and remember where you were. Then every time you slip back into that piece, you can be taken back to that place all over again.”
“My goal is to do more pop-up in other places,” said Martin.
“Consumers are really looking for that personal touch again. I feel that the idea of eco-conscious people don’t really know about it. People have to actually come and feel what the fabric feels like. They want to know what it’s like to try and feel it on. They want to have the personal touch as well . . . People are buying for personal connection again.
“My vision for the company is that Stacey Martin can be a representation of diversity and inclusion. I think that it’s time to be a representation of a lot of companies that are more well known that are run by females and BIPOC leaders as well.”
Martin has a mission to bring female and BIPOC leadership to the forefront.
In the retailer’s press release on the launch of the new collection, it was noted that 14 per cent of major fashion brands are being run by female executives, and less than 0.5 per cent of Black female entrepreneurs have received private capital funding.
“I am so incredibly proud and excited to be launching this collection after many months of hard work, soul searching and really anchoring down to find and draw out the inspiration for the Go There collection,” said Martin. “The evolution of this brand is deeply personal and is a reflection of so many things that are important to me at this stage in my life. My heritage, the way I feel about my own body, the way I feel about how society projects opinions onto others’ bodies, and my responsibility as a designer to ensure what I put out there isn’t at the detriment of our environment.
“The Go There collection is really all about feeling unstoppable when you put on a piece and do exactly what you are meant to do on this planet confidently.”
The limited edition Fall 2021 collection captures the richness of the designer, Stacey Martin’s Nevisian heritage.
“By establishing a robust partnership with Nevis Tourism Authority she honours her cultural background and love for the island through her brand. This intimate collection is as exclusive as the island itself — far from the concept of traditional “Caribbean inspired clothing”, the collection is designed to eloquently marry two worlds of style and comfort that embodies the Caribbean/Canadian expression,” said the retailer.
“Eco-consciousness is at the forefront of Stacey Martin Lifestyle’s core values, and inspiration behind the evolution of the brand. Over recent years, more attention has been drawn to the staggering environmental impacts the fashion industry has across the globe. 20 per cent of industrial water pollution comes from textiles treatment and dying, and over 70 million trees are cut down each year to make our clothes. Knowing the immense toll the fashion industry takes on our environment each year, Martin mindfully chose to use eco-consciousness materials that lessen environmental impacts to create each piece of the Go There collection.”
These materials include:
● Organic Cotton: Untreated national seed, organic cotton grown without synthetic fertilizers;
● Tencel Modal: A type of cellulose fibre mainly derived from sustainability-sourced beechwood trees;
● Tencel Lyocell: A type of rayon cellulose fibre derived from sustainable wood sources; and
● Recycled Polyester: Made from post-consumer plastic waste diverted from landfills.
The brand’s pieces are made in Canada, and designed in-house in Ottawa.
Getting away from the traditional naming conventions, Martin uses no numbers or traditional names for sizing, rather the sizes are named as follows: Baby Love (XS), Pure Love (S), True Love (M), More Love (L), Real Love (XL), Xtra Love (XXL), and One Love (One Size Fits All).
“How many countless people out there can remember a time we’ve tried to squeeze our bodies into clothing that is labelled the size that we think we are, and face negative feelings when we have to up a size or no longer fit into this number that the fashion industry has assigned to our bodies?” said Martin.
“Clothing is meant to fit our bodies, not the other way around. Fashion has shifted and comfort and style are no longer mutually exclusive. Our modern needs of clothing have evolved and I felt it was time to let go of those sizing names that have caused so many of us grief over the years. Time to love ourselves for who we are and find clothing that compliments our figures and makes us feel confident and comfortable.”