For Betsy Campos, who grew up in the famously beach-filled nation of Brazil, the swimwear selection in Canada always felt lacking. “I could never find anything to fit me or my mom,” she says. “Shopping was frustrating, and it was never available all year round.” Campos enrolled in fashion techniques and design at George Brown College to study pattern making and, last May, she and creative director Vanessa Cesario opened the doors to swimwear line Unika’s first boutique. Unika makes a point of presenting their styles, which are produced at their in-store workshop, on a range of body types. “I’ve ordered a suit online and it’s shown on a girl with big implants and a tiny body,” Cesario says. “It’s not going to look like that on me and it’s not going to look like that on most people.”
At the heart of Unika is Campos’s customization program. Shoppers choose from more than 200 styles of two pieces, one pieces and tankinis and tweak options such as the height of the leg cut and coverage in the back and the neckline. Fabrics are sourced from Italy and the United States. Since launching, Campos has created pieces for women of all ages, shapes and sizes, including transgender women and women who’ve had a mastectomy. It’s a body-positive approach that celebrates diversity. “Everyone’s body is different and a small on me is not going to look the same as a small on someone else,” Campos says.
Unika, 101 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, 647-347-7946 , unikaswim.ca.
A new book chronicles the cultural impact of the late Franca Sozzani. Published by Assouline, Franca: Chaos and Creation pays tribute to her creative vision at the helm of Vogue Italia through photos by the likes of Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. During her three decades as editor-in-chief, Sozzani tackled controversial topics such as domestic violence and substance abuse and pioneered the July, 2008 Black Issue featuring only models of colour. Proceeds from the sale of Franca: Chaos and Creation will benefit the Franca Sozzani Chair in Preventive Genomics at Harvard Medical School. It is available for US$250 through Assouline.com.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting the first exhibition dedicated to Thierry Mugler. Running from March 2 to Sept. 8, Thierry Mugler: Couturissime is a retrospective featuring more than 150 ensembles by the French designer, created between 1973 and 2014, as well as accessories, stage costumes, clips and videos, and archival documents and sketches. It also presents 100 works by fashion photographers including Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton. Mugler is known for his audacious designs, which used innovative materials such as metal, faux fur and vinyl and have been worn by the likes of Jerry Hall and Beyoncé. For more information, visit mbam.qc.ca.
English fashion house Mulberry recently launched its debut eyewear collection with eight styles of sunglasses. Designed in partnership with Italian eyewear specialist De Rigo, the frames were inspired by British fashion icons with a nod to the country’s 1960s mod era, a time when distinctive eyewear became synonymous with London style. Kate, Jane, Emma, Charlotte and Gian are chunky acetate while Tony and Lenny are made of lightweight metal wire. Enyd is a hybrid of both styles. The colour palette references the pinks, reds, black and metallics of the brand’s spring 2019 runway collection. The sunglasses range from $320 to $360 and are available through mulberry.com.
Classic French cookware company Le Creuset has launched a new dinnerware collection called Minimalist. It’s a complementary addition to the Le Creuset’s Classic collection, which debuted in 2014. Crafted of stoneware with enamel finishing, the new collection includes plates, bowls and mugs in an assortment of 10 glossy and matte shades that are meant to mixed and matched. Each piece is microwave, dishwasher, broiler, freezer and oven safe. Minimalist is available beginning March 1 at Le Creuset stores, online at LeCreuset.ca and through other home retailers. Pieces range in price from $20 to $120.