IZMA: Elegance & Decadence for a New Generation

IZMA Fall/Winter 2011. Photo Credits: Jenna Marie Wakani


Its the year of The Fur. Whether you hate it or love it, the luxury of outwear has made a huge come back and designer labels, like fur-heavy IZMA, are catering to the young women who want the elegance their mothers and grandmothers cherished, but on their own terms. IZMA creators Izzy Camilleri & Adrian Mainella visited Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street as special guests, showing off their designs inspired by the 1930s, 1940s and the disco glam era of the 1970s. We talked to the designers about the inspiration behind their collection and about fur’s iconic (sometimes controversal) status in pop culture.
No longer bulky and heavy looking, IZMA’s fur designs are slick, close to the body and dressy.
HerCastleGirls: When you look at outerwear, it’s a different wardrobe piece. It’s seen more as an investment. With that, how do you put that knowledge into your thought process when designing?

Adrian Mainella: I think that is part of why we thought fur was a good idea because in this economy, people are going to want invest in quality and something that lasts and longevity, so it speaks for the sustainability of fur. When you buy a fur coat you buy it for life, verses a lot of other fast fashion pieces where you buy it and you get tired of it and perhaps the quality isn’t there, so after a few seasons it doesn’t maintain the same appeal it originally did. Fur has the ability to last a very long time. We found a way to streamline the process so we could make it more affordable then your average fur that’s more exciting, fun, younger and more versatile. The price points are a bit higher then what you would buy at a regular retailer for a wool coat or synthetic coat, but they are still on a very low side for fur but you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to how long you’ll be enjoying it and wearing it.

HCG: How difficult is it to bring fur to a younger audience? Girls in there twenties are now seeing the appeal of fur as must fashion item.

AM: I think younger girls today are way more knowledgeable and sophisticated in fashion. Fashion is so global now because of communication, media, internet, social media, and they are looking for something special and unique. A lot of great fashion is fast fashion in a really affordable price range. Young women keep seeing the same stuff, so they are really looking for items that make them look and feel more grown up, and sexy. I hate to use the word sexy, but its true when you’re a girl in your twenties you want to look sexy right?
The idea of luxury, is something that is still appealing with pop culture and with youth. I remember being in my twenties and I barely had enough money to go out, but I was going to own a designer jacket when I went out. I may not have eaten for two weeks, but I was wearing a designer jacket. Women are just more savvy today [with fashion] and I think that’s good. That’s why it appeals to them. I live between New York and Toronto and all the girls in New York wear big beautiful fur coats, and they are not the same coats our mothers or grandmothers wore. They are cool, they are hip, and we design them differently then we once did. 

Adrian Mainella & Izzy Camilleri

IZMA is now available at Holt Renfrew. Learn more about the IZMA label online at http://www.izma.ca/

Stilettos & Rock n Roll,
Follow HerCastleGirls!
Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr