Thursday, October 21, 2010

Designer Carrie Hayes Locks Up New Line

The phrase "diffusion line" isn't new, but it is new to see young designers branch out as their first label is still gaining traction.  Carrie Hayes, whose namesake label is only a few years old, launches The Paddock tonight during Toronto's fashion week.  As a major fan and a curious fashion consumer, I had a brief convo with Carrie to get to know Paddock.

So what is the Paddock – is this a diffusion line for Carrie Hayes?

The Paddock is a a collection that I designed specifically for Canadian women.  Canadians are savvy but we also demand comfort.  I buy clothing that I can wear all day: from my morning appointments to dinner.  Comfort is a big part of this collection.  I felt Canadian women needed a clothing line that was soft and comfortable but also pulled together.  There needed to be an option part way between yoga pants and tailored trousers.  This is my solution to that challenge. 

The Paddock is a separate collection from the Carrie Hayes brand but it still has my influence.  The Carrie Hayes collection will continue to cater to its clients who primarily wear the dresses to cocktail parties and red carpet events.  The Paddock is clothing that women can wear every day: to the coffee shop, to meetings and at home. 

What brought you to this step?

I created The Paddock because I struggled to find clothing that was comfortable but didn't look sloppy.  There is a lot of great casual wear out there but very little can go from the dog park to a client meeting.  I saw women who were either inappropriately dressed and comfortable, or dressed well but fidgeting and adjusting their clothing.  I felt there had to be a more elegant solution.  So I created soft, adjustable clothing that has formal detailing like crisp pockets and facings.  Everything co-ordinates exactly like a suit.

What are the price points?

Pants retail between $60-$90.  Jackets retail for around $130.  Dresses range from $95 - $150.  Tops are $30-$100.  I had a mandate of keeping everything under $200 and I was delighted to have achieved that, even with everything being manufactured in Canada this season.  

One look and I'm hooked.  It should be called "Comfortable by Carrie."  I'll know more after tonight's runway presentation.  For your own sneak peek, check out The Paddock here.

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