In 1966 James Brown said, “it’s a man’s world” and at that time it was totally true, but times have changed and so have women. Over the past 40-so-years we’ve seen women take over corporations, become head of state, and dominate roles that were in the past, solely created for men. Today, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day and in lieu of it, we’re honouring 10 Canadian brands and stores that are run by some kick-ass women. Read more about the Canadian women ruling Toronto’s fashion scene below:

ARMED

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You know the saying, “big things come in small packages”? Well, no truer words have ever been said about our next store of the week. Keeping within the theme of great shops on Dundas Street West, we decided to venture east of Ossington and found ourselves instantly enamoured with what we found. If you haven’t heard of Armed, then grab a seat and get comfy because this is a shop you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

With Love Lingerie

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With Love Lingerie is the newest label I’ve introduced to my wardrobe. The line is soft and feminine, yet hard and sexy – the perfect pairings for any lingerie lover. With Love Lingerie is made and designed by Carrie Russell in Toronto. Russell began with love in 2010, but prior to launching her independent lingerie line she designed for a number of other private labels.“The work was really exciting and demanding, [but] I decided that if I was going to be pouring blood, sweat and tears into a collection it should be truly my own,” Russell explains.

Liel & Lentz 

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Diandra Guglielmello and Maggie Coblentz are the two childhood friends behind the brand Liel & Lentz. The pair first met in kindergarten and split ways after high-school. Diandra went on to study science while Maggie went on to study fashion and design at Parsons and Ryerson. During a trip to India, Maggie was fascinated by the variety of materials and different modes of production that were available to designers and began brewing up ideas for her own jewelry line.

Wild Moon

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There is a new generation of creative’s hitting the Toronto scene and so much fresh talent to explore.  Last week, we got to sit down with Asia Clarke, the brains behind the Toronto based jewelry line, Wild Moon. If you keep up with the blog, you’ve probably heard us mention the brand before. The line consists mainly of necklaces and earrings in the range of $20 to $120, a reflection of Asia’s personal jewelry style.

Mama Loves You Vintage

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It’s time to reevaluate your relationship with your mother, because this next mother-daughter duo is about to blow you out of the water. Melo and Mahro Anfield are the vintage connoisseurs behind the less-than-a-year-old shop, Mama Loves You. Melo, mother to Mahro, has been purveying vintage since she was 20, while Mahro, a recent Ryerson fashion graduate, has been working in vintage stores since she was 17. “I’ve always loved vintage. All through school, every paper or project I wrote was geared toward vintage.”

Knixwear

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We would like to salute the great brands Canada has and the brains behind them, including up and comer, Joanna Griffiths. If you haven’t heard of Griffiths, she is a business woman extraordinaire. With over seven years of marketing and PR experience and a resume that includes working for Universal Music, the Toronto International Film Festival and the CBC, she’s the kind of stuff that makes you proud to be a Canadian woman!

Broome + Bow

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This one goes out to all the ladies out there – the ladies that look into their closets every morning and think, “I have nothing to wear” or spot a great outfit on the street and think, “I wish I could wear that.” I recently got to sit down with two ladies who have been there before and understand your wardrobe woes. Anila Akram and Laura Lampe are the women behind Broome + Bow

The Future of Frances Watson

The Future of Frances Watson

The Future of Frances Watson

The Future of Frances Watson is an independent clothing shop for men and women that opened 3 years ago by Kerry Butt and Meg Watson – two friends looking to escape upper management in order to build their own little retail empire. The shop was named after each of their grandmothers and describes a, “bad a** Strong Woman from a 1940s Circus – A super woman, if you will.” And I must admit – The Future of Frances Watson is super bad a**.

Easy Tiger Goods

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Those who follow Lost & Found may have noticed there was a feminine presence and touch missing. If you’ve been searching for that presence, you’ll find former co-owner, Zai Rajkotwala, a couple blocks down at her new store, Easy Tiger Goods. “I was kind of nervous when I first opened because I’m bringing such a wide range of products,” Zai laughs “I’m bringing in underwear, cleaning supplies, jewelry and clothing but I think everything has a very similar voice. My focus at Easy Tiger is to bring in products that are well made, packaged and designed. People like to know where things come from and who makes them.”

VSP Consignment

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We don’t just wear clothing. A woman chooses how she wants to wear a certain dress, pair of pants or an accessory. Getting dressed is a liberation of choice. A reflection of who we are or who we want to be. A concept that VSP Consignment embraces and emanates. “We’re not just one look or one style. I think people are being more ambitious about the way they dress. One person might wear something one way, while the next person who owns it will wear it completely differently,” owner, Britt Rawlinson tells us.