The lingerie industry in Canada has seen its ups and downs over the past few decades but it’s enjoying a resurgence these days, especially when it comes to independent luxury labels.
Want proof? Toronto-based Fortnight Lingerie is actually bragging about being Canadian in a new marketing campaign meant to emphasize their local heritage.
The company’s new behind-the-scenes video (below), called ‘Made In Canada‘, shows garments being meticulously crafted in their Toronto studio and is part of a campaign to promote not just Fortnight, but the Canadian fashion community in general.
“We’re trying to identify ourselves as a company that cares about what it is creating,” Fortnight’s brand manager Greg Denny told us. “We’re not just designing garments that are being shipped overseas to be made and then brought back and sold at a discount.”
But the video is also “a promotion for Canada, a way of showing things can be made here,” he adds. “We want to show that a sustainable company can grow and prosper on the idea of making products locally.”
That belief has become a core part of the two-year-old company’s values, and an important ingredient in Fortnight‘s rapid growth. With only two full collections under their belt, the company is now stocked by a long list of North America’s most esteemed retail boutiques.
Promoting its Canadian roots, Greg said, is a way of showing the “intimate connection we have to each garment, from design to manufacture.”
“Fortnight is all-Canadian in all aspects of the product, from development, design, pattern-making, fabrics and manufacture. Everything is made in-house by expert technicians who can monitor quality control. We want to show that a company can grow with that model.
“Fortnight Lingerie represents a small group of brands that are entirely made in North America. It’s a feat to be very proud of in today’s fashion industry.”
Fortnight isn’t the only lingerie brand using nationalism as a promotional strategy. A similar message is being used with growing frequency by American designer labels to separate themselves from the tsunami-like wave of offshore goods from Asia. It’s a potent message that dovetails with the Obama administration’s focus on made-in-America economic policies and consumer worries about jobs lost to overseas manufacturers.
But there’s another subtext in Fortnight‘s ‘Made in Canada‘ message as well — the argument that you don’t need to be a European label to produce top-quality luxury lingerie.
“If you’re a retailer, usually one of your selling points is that you stock European brands,” Greg said. “But it’s not just Europeans that make high-end luxury lingerie. It’s also made right here in Canada.”
Fortnight designers Christina Remenyi and Addie Chown are currently developing the label’s 2013 collection, which will debut this summer. Their 2012 line of tailored bodywear and foundations — inspired by classic female rock music icons — can be seen here.
(Ed. Note: Top photo shows Christina at work in Fortnight’s first studio — they’ve since moved to a larger workspace in Toronto. Both photos by Richard.)