Fashion

Greta Constantine

Original Fashion Designer

Then to Now

Toronto-based fashion designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong are the mighty pair behind Greta Constantine, a luxury women’s ready-to-wear fashion line. Inspired by their clientele, lifestyles and surroundings, Greta Constantine has become a household name in the Canadian fashion sphere, earning big nods from designers around the world, not to mention a huge following of socialites and trendsetters. ORGNL.TV sat down with the duo to find out more about the label, creative inspiration, plans for growth and what makes their line so original.

gretaconstantine.com

“When talking about fashion, there’s always a bit of fantasy involved, too.”

“I don’t think art naturally comes easy to anyone. It’s something you’re always working and striving for. I don’t think you’re ever finished with an art piece. It’s an ongoing process.”

Interview with Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong
Interview with Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong
Who is Greta Constantine?

When we started the company, we each chose a name that was dear to us and put them together. Greta is my mom’s name, Constantine is Kirk’s grandfather’s name. So it was either going to be Constantine Greta or Greta Constantine. (Stephen)

Do you remember the first time you realized you loved fashion?

The first time I realized I loved fashion I was in grade 8 and a kid had brought a GQ magazine to school and I was obsessed. That’s when I thought to myself, I need to get into fashion somehow. (Kirk)

Tell us about what inspires your clothes.

What inspires our clothes mostly has to do with the women that we know. We happen to be friends with a lot of our clients and it’s always good to hear feedback – where they’re wearing the clothes, how they’re wearing them. (Stephen)

We get inspired by our surroundings and our lifestyles. Like Stephen said, we listen to our clients. (Kirk)

When talking about fashion, there’s always a bit of fantasy involved, too. You get ideas from the most obscure things at times and take references from the past and redevelop them. (Stephen)

Does art come naturally to you?

I don’t think art naturally comes easy to anyone. It’s something you’re always working and striving for. I don’t think you’re ever finished with an art piece. It’s an ongoing process. (Kirk)

I think if you ask any creative person if they’re happy with any particular thing they’ve worked on, most of the time it will be a resounding no. As a creative mind you’re always changing and evolving, and in that way, I don’t think you’re ever finished working on any particular item or project. You can always see room for improvement. (Stephen)

Can you talk about your creative process?

Most of the time, it’s shocking, but we have a lot of the same ideas and same inspirations and they come to us at the same time. And from that, we just expand on those ideas and develop them. (Stephen)

I think with us too, less is more. We’ve started to realize we don’t need to be the people who do themes. When we come up with an idea or something that inspires us like art, photography or music – that’s when it develops, it’s not about storyboards and sketches. (Kirk)

How do you know when you’re finished with a piece?

There comes a time when you have to decide when to stop working on a collection or any specific garment. If you give us ten years to do one dress, we’ll take ten years to do one dress. But you just have to set deadlines and decide when it’s done. (Stephen)

What motivates you?

What doesn’t motivate us? I think everything motivates us. Life motivates us. People you work with motivate you. I think for me, personally, living your dream is such motivation. Watching your company grow is an even bigger motivation. (Kirk)

What makes your work original?

From day one, we’ve strived to have a Greta Constantine look, to have it identifiable and I think we achieved that quite early and we’re so happy that we did. I love that anyone can pick out, even from a rack of clothes, something that is ours and singular in that way. (Stephen)

….And that pretty much makes it original. (Kirk)

What’s been the most gratifying part of your career so far?

I think it’s when we see someone wearing a garment of ours. It’s not just about the media and press you get. (Kirk)

When someone takes their own hard earned dollars and they purchase your dress from a choice of all those others and they wear it specifically for a special event, it speaks volumes. It’s the biggest pat on your back you could ever get. (Stephen)

 

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Article by Stoli Canada

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