Canadian designer Jeremy Laing has had the kind of career most homegrown talent can only dream of. Shortly after completing his studies at Ryerson University and the University of Westminster in London, Laing apprenticed under Alexander McQueen, eventually freelancing for the designer and designing showpiece items for his collection. Laing launched his eponymous label in New York in 2005, garnering attention from TheNew York Times and Fashion Wire Daily, the latter saying the designer was “as deeply mindful of the design of his clothes as he is interested in their conceptual impact.”
He quickly established himself as a thoughtful master of drapery and tailoring, mixing menswear-inspired techniques with couture. Despite rapidly rising beyond indie darling status to court international buyers in fashion capitols around the world with signature smart-chic designs like a seamless, full-length dress with a software-rendered pattern and a bleach-dyed velvet suit, Laing eventually found himself in the middle of an industry that thrives largely on million-dollar marketing campaigns and fast-fashion appeal. As such, he shuttered his label last summer.
“So you see a lot of people who, like all my heroes, are dead, out of business or have imploded one way or another,” he told The Globe and Mail last week. “There’s something about this business that draws very sensitive people to it and then there’s something about this business that can take the best out of them. To me, it wasn’t a point I felt was worth getting to.”
Laing hasn’t completely abandoned the field, however. He designed the Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics exhibit currently being shown at Toronto’s Design Exchange. And he still hasn’t decided what his next move will be, but one thing is for certain, we haven’t seen the last of Laing.