Yung Creatives is a series profiling talents of tomorrow across various fields, disciplines and mediums. Skilled in commerce and creativity, find out why these guys are generating significant buzz in the industry.
With a seasoned background in graphic design, 25-year-old Toronto native Dani Roche has only recently dived into the world of fashion with her first project, Biannual – a self-proclaimed “fashionable yet functional” outerwear brand. Separating herself from other Canadian outerwear brands, Roche uses 100 percent vegan materials and tags no gender affiliation to her designs.
We spoke to Dani about why she decided to venture into the fashion realm and how she manages to sustain the interest of her 50k+ IG followers.
What made you make the move into fashion?
Working in fashion has been a very organic and slow progression for me. Biannual is my first story/project in the fashion industry, written with a very nonfictional point of view. I come from a design background so I am more interested in the idea of building a brand with a really strong identity, message and having the clothes reflect the audience in that way.
Did your background in graphic design prepare you for your current work in fashion?
It taught me to think critically about why I’m doing what I’m doing as far as navigating in the fashion world. It has allowed me to be more open minded and adaptable to problems when they occur.
I have a pretty standard uniform of jeans and t-shirts, but I’ve always been into outerwear and accessories. Especially coming from Canada, I’ve never really had a warm winter coat and if I did, it never really represented my style. Biannual makes fashionable yet functional outerwear pieces that will keep me warm and serve as a reflection of myself.
What makes Biannual different from other outerwear brands?
For one, we’re 100 percent vegan, so we don’t use real fur, down or leather. I also feel like many brands entering the marketplace are catering to one specific audience. I’m really interested in subcultures and how we identify ourselves through style and how we place ourselves in society. My intention is for all clothes to be super neutral and gender fluid.
Why the choice to go vegan?
I think it’s very important for younger consumers to be really conscious of being susceptible to trends they’re consuming and what they’re wearing. I’ve always been really into online communities and connecting with people across the world. With the rise of Instagram, I feel like we have a lot of young kids joining a platform and being really susceptible to what trends, so I really want to have a strong message and use Instagram as a tool to market our products.
Who would you say is Biannual’s consumer?
I’m really inspired by my friends and all the people I follow, from skaters to hype fashion bloggers. I want to design a coat and offer a brand that will be appealing to all these different identities.
What makes Toronto’s creative scene different from other creative scenes?
Toronto’s creative scene is really tight knit and supportive. In recent years, we’ve been really defined by music and have seen an increased interest in what we offer, presumably because of Drake. Toronto has been churning out work with many different collaborators in many different mediums. It’s been a really exciting time. Seeing all walks of life collaborating through style has caused a lot of integration and influence in terms of what everyone is trying to make.
We are working on a number of collaborations for the Biannual launch in September, while working on our campaign for Spring/Summer.
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- Main Image: Leeor Wild