When the temperature drops there is nothing I love more than wrapping myself in cozy, big, and blanket-like sweaters that lend both warmth and style to my outfits. Sweaters and wraps become staples in my day whether in the office, presenting in the boardroom, weekends at the lake, running errands, or a night out. Recently, I was introduced to Rebecca King Fashion House, home of Canadian designer Rebecca King (Farthing), and home to a collection of seriously cozy and fashionable pieces – all Canadian made and all supporting the versatility of how we live.
Having spent a few years in Calgary, Alberta after completing design school in 2005, Rebecca was named a Mercedes Benz Startup Top 20 Emerging Canadian Designer. She has gained momentum since, with retail distribution in boutiques across Western Canada and presence at select artisanal shows (the next happens to be the Signature event in Winnipeg, November 23-26!).
This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Rebecca (who I enjoyed speaking with and was privileged to hear her baby boy softly cooing in the background), as well as indulge in a few of her gorgeous and warm pieces during a winter photoshoot ( I love her sweaters!!). What a treat it was to snap a photo while the snow was lightly falling – we really do live in a winter wonderland. It takes a true understanding and appreciation of “true north” lifestyle to get winter pieces just right, needing a blend of modern design and quality material. Rebecca embodies just that in her handmade sweaters that are quickly gaining recognition across the Canadian fashion scene. They are, in my opinion, the perfect fit for a modern middle-aged woman on the go.
Rebecca King (Farthing)
Rebecca shares her design inspiration, how Rebecca King Fashion House came to life, and in true and generous Canadian spirit – offers something special to D by denise readers.
How did your design vision come to life – did you have a lightbulb moment? First, it was a childhood dream I still can’t believe came true. There wasn’t one light bulb moment, just many years of plugging away, doing what I love and being supported by people who love it too! Each year my brand continues to grow, I am more and more grateful that people see my passion and join me in my love for design.
What do you love most about your work as a designer? I love having the knowledge to bring a drawing to life. It’s like a chef creating recipes, not following along in a cookbook. I love transforming a sketch into a pattern, playing with the design and proportions, sewing prototypes, and eventually turning out something beautiful.
What was the single most important thing in starting Rebecca King Fashion House? Why? I love beauty. I have to create, or something inside me dies. Even when I’m not working (and pondering what I would like to do with my time off), I start dreaming about what I would like to sew! The most important thing is that I’m able to continue to explore new designs and create something beautiful.
What inspires you? Tailoring, equestrian, military, modern, cozy, and texture. These are a few things that I am drawn to, at the same time mixing these design elements and making my pieces wearable and cozy – that’s my ultimate goal!
What key elements do you consider in designing your products? You have to be able to throw on a REBECCA KING piece on an otherwise boring outfit, and instantly look great and feel like you’re still in bed (…“wearable hugs” as many have put it). I strive to make my clothing look tailored and structured, yet feel as though you’re wearing a hoodie. Many pieces can be worn in multiple ways, allowing you to dress them up or down. I want my pieces to be the ones you reach for; the ones you want to put on almost every single day!
Your favourite things to do on weekends? Often, I’m representing my clothing at trade shows or pop-up shops across Canada. I love this because I get to encounter my client face to face. Seeing hundreds of women trying things on helps me identify the perfect fit, favourite details, and the smile on their faces encourages me in my work. While travelling, I will often treat myself to exploring the best in local culinary experiences, whether a peaceful morning cappuccino or Saturday night meal – it makes the hard work worth it. On the other hand, when I’m home spending time with my young and beautiful family (my husband and I have 3 children 5 years and under), our life is busy but we always take Sundays together. As a family, we to go to Mass, eat a big brunch, and spend carefree time together.
Your favourite way to celebrate with girlfriends? Wine. A cozy visit in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine and maybe a special cheese, sharing, encouraging, and laughing – it fills my heart.
Your favourite memory building your career and your custom label? I love to remember back to the very beginning, when I first graduated from design school in 2005. I’d taken pictures of my graduating collection and walked door-to-door meeting with store owners, trying to sell them my work but not really knowing what I would do if they said yes. A few of them did, and I took their orders despite after paying for materials, I was basically working for free. I continued to sew every piece myself until 2011. Today, the operation is more scaled – I still draft all of my patterns and sew my own samples (which is not common), and then work with a team in Vancouver for final production.
What style of sweater do you recommend for the modern professional woman, taking her from daytime business wear to an evening holiday party? The perfect sweater coat would be my Techno Suit Jacket. It’s perfect for the office because the cut of the garment gives a clean, modern, and professional vibe. Though the fabric looks structured, it’s made of material that stretches and has a sponge-like quality, so you don’t have to struggle with trying to move in a restrictive blazer. I love mixing clean modern shapes with some cozy and casual details, which also makes this garment suitable for a night out. A rib knit collar, long cuffs with a thumb hole, and raw cut edges make this piece walk the thin line of suitable enough for work, but casual and cute. At the office, you can wear it with black skinnies and a white blouse, and as you head into the evening, roll your black skinny jeans over your ankle and put on a pair of heals, add some sparkle with some bold gold jewelry, and you’re off!
I look forward to continuing to wear Rebecca’s pieces (especially throughout the upcoming holiday season), to seeing her spring collection, and to having her back to share more in the coming months. As a special offer for D by denise readers, Rebecca is offering 10% off purchases made online at RebeccaKing.ca or in-person during the upcoming Signatures event in Winnipeg (November 23-26 at the RBC Convention Centre) – where you can meet Rebecca too!
The code is DBYDENISE for 10% off.
Thank you Rebecca, for your beautiful and handcrafted designs made in Canada, and for building a community in Canadian fashion! As well, for the warm conversations we have had together.
So, give it a try, and wrap yourself up in warmth. Why? Because sustainable fashion is good, but locally made pieces are even better, AND because we can!
Photos – Casey Nolin Photography
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