The first local shopping guide I wrote showcased Winnipeg’s clothing designers and shops. I had explained that I prefer the “in–house” shopping experience due to tricky sizing and complicated returns. In this post I am shifting gears to chat about one of my favorite items to purchase online – accessories!
“I always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of an outfit,” said Michael Kors - and I couldn’t agree more. They are the perfect way to spruce up an existing wardrobe, they can “make a statement” during any virtual (and live) event, and… Winnipeg has so many fabulous accessory designers! Let’s get going with a selection of jewelry designers.
Lisa and Sean are the powerhouse husband and wife duo behind dconstruct. Their minimalist jewellery is made of concrete and eco-resin that is recycled from waste materials such as sky lights, store fixtures, and vending machine covers. Other organic and textile materials are sourced from communities in developing countries, which help local tradespeople and boost economies.
Their Statement Resin collection is made up of squiggly and scallop-shaped earrings in bright, metallic, and iridescent colours. They are the type of pieces that will not go unnoticed. The Concrete collection works for every day, with bangles, stud earrings, and necklaces embedded with gold leaves and jesmonite.
Just as the name suggests, this brand will really brighten your day. Jenna, owner and founder, names each piece after a person, conversation, or memory that inspired or empowered her creative process. The earrings are lightweight and playful, and will add a splash to any outfit. One of the pieces that stood out to me is a pair of Marilyn Statement earrings, which feature a clay piece overlaid with a person’s profile in brass. I’m not sure who Marilyn is, but I can imagine she is one sassy lady.
Bel and Victoria, the designers behind Flora Lune Creative have made quite the name for themselves in the Winnipeg design scene. In addition to being present at most local markets, you can find their pieces at The Forks Trading Company, Made Here, and Shop Take Care. The bold shapes and colours will add a punch to any dress or sweater, while the straight-forward designs make them timeless. The necklaces are works of art – they are strung together using building block-type pieces made of copper and clay beads, with each bead made individually by hand. They really are a labour of love.
I am an '80s baby, so when the scrunchie floated back into fashion a few years ago, I was thrilled. What is not to like about a hair tie that is not only gentle on your hair but also doubles as an accessory? Twin sisters Tiana and Liana Thomson create handmade scrunchies with recycled materials, including vintage, salvaged and scrap fabrics. For that reason they have a variety of patterns and colours to choose from that will make you want to replicate various scenes from Saved by the Bell. #kellykapowski
Handmade for fine folks. That sentence pretty much sums up what you can expect with Old Hat. Nathan is a one-man show and he uses carefully-selected recycled or second-hand fabrics to create hats in his home workshop. He even uses plastic from salvaged ice cream pails to stiffen the peaks! Old Hat has three styles to choose from – Cadet, baseball cap, and 5-panel – and they come in a range of patterns and colours. Winnipeggers love Old Hat; hats off to Nathan.
I am very excited to talk about Hello Darling. Miriam Delos Santos designs and hand crafts some of the most playful and fashion-forward headwear I’ve seen. The headbands and head wraps are made of soft fabrics such as velvet and linen and include fun accents such as organza and pom poms. The styling is audacious and striking, yet completely accessible at the same time. Miriam often models the pieces herself and pairs them with outfits and jewelry designed by other local makers, including dconstruct, Siggi Clothing, and Tony Chestnut. #localsupportinglocal
Every Manitoban is familiar with Manitobah Mukluks, but I would like to specifically talk about its Storyboots Project. This initiative brings together Indigenous artisans from across Canada who fashion mukluks, moccasins, and accessories in the traditional way. Not only are the pieces in this collection breath-taking, but they represent something beautiful, as 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the artist. In addition to handmade moccasins and mitts, the collection consists of earrings, dreamcatchers and key chains. Even though Manitobah Mukluks has grown to be an international brand with products distributed around the world, its headquarters remain in Winnipeg. The company's cozy boots and moccasins will definitely come in handy this winter as we plan to spend more time at home or outdoors doing winter activities.
Even though make-up is not a traditional accessory per se, I’m going to stretch the definition so I can talk about Queenfidence. This Winnipeg-based cosmetic line is an all-inclusive black-owned business that produces cruelty-free and vegan makeup for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Francine Bahati created the line in order to celebrate the power of make-up in promoting self-confidence and to unveil the Queen in you! Its Soul Sisterz Eyeshadow Palette is all you need for those upcoming virtual holiday parties.
To bring this post to a close, I want to mention the rise of the mask as an accessory in 2020. Many local makers have stepped up over the past few months to create reusable options, and my colleague wrote an extremely comprehensive post that I’ll include here.
For a full list of local stores in Winnipeg visit our shopping page.