Style Spotlight: Hayley Elsaesser, Fashion Designer

Our next Style Spotlight will inspire you to wear eccentric prints even if you think you can’t. Allow us to introduce you to Hayley Elsaesser.
Style Spotlight: Hayley Elsaesser, Fashion Designer

Our next Style Spotlight will inspire you to wear eccentric prints even if you think you can’t, be bold and stand out from the crowd.

Allow us to introduce you to Hayley Elsaesser.

She is a Toronto-based fashion designer, originally from Cambridge, ON, who didn’t always plan on being a designer. Elsaesser studied psychology for a while, but it was when she was spending all her time sewing clothes to sell on eBay she realized it was time for a career change.

She jetted off to Brisbane, Australia where she graduated with honours in Fine Arts Fashion and was selected along with 11 other fashion graduates to participate in the L’Oreal Graduate Showcase at Melbourne Fashion Week. After all the positive feedback and buzz-worthy attention, the Hayley Elsaesser brand was born.

Since then, her brand has become a go-to celebrity style favourite. Her designs have been worn by Katy Perry, Lilly Singh, Jessi Cruickshank and more. She even made a custom three-piece outfit for Miley Cyrus last season on The Voice.

We had the opportunity to chat with Hayley Elsaesser about her style, her go to outfit when running late and the number one style rule she lives by. Check out the interview below.

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Introducing Hayley Elsaesser

Tell us a little about you and what you do.

I’m based in Toronto now, but I started my brand in Australia. My brand is known for being really bright and colourful and printed and just lots of fun.

Define your clothing brand in three words.

Vibrant, colourful and strong.

What are some of your own style ‘rules’ that you like to live by?

Don’t follow style rules. There’s a lot of style rules specifically for people to flatter their bod[ies] which I think is just really stupid because we shouldn’t be dressing just to look a certain way, we should be dressing to feel good and feel nice. For me, really it’s just putting together an outfit that you feel really good in. Try new things and get out of your comfort zone.

What inspires you as a fashion designer?

I’m definitely inspired by pop culture. I’ve always been a quiet person and I like movies because it’s kind of my escape. I’m pretty reserved which is weird because my clothes are so the anti of that, but that’s why I design what I do.

How do you feel when you see celebrities in your clothes?

I still can’t get used to it. It’s really crazy to me because, especially [with] people like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus that have been around since before I started my brand, that I knew about before this portion of my life, I never would have imagined thinking back that one day they would be wearing my stuff. It never gets old.

Who’s one celebrity you want to wear your clothes who hasn’t yet?

Rihanna. She has the most amazing style, she always wears the best stuff. I could probably die happy if I could get her wearing some of my clothes.

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Inside the Hayley Elsaesser flagship store on Queen St. West

Looking back, what were some trends you wish you hadn’t worn (aka your style regrets)?

The only regrets I have is when I was younger not wearing stuff that I actually really wanted to, kind of following the crowd a bit too much. Wearing stuff that just wasn’t really my style, just trying to fit in a little bit too much – that’s what I regret.

You’re running late. What’s your go-to outfit?

Jeans, a T-shirt and a jacket. I usually wear jeans every day and some sort of T-shirt and then a printed jacket because then it looks really put together but it’s just something really easy and quick that you can put on.

What’s one item in your closet that you can’t live without?

Overalls. I have several pairs that are all printed; they’re just so comfortable and easy to wear. It’s kind of like wearing pajamas, but it looks like you’ve come up with a whole full outfit. They’re just so crazy, I look like a cartoon when I wear them and I love it.

What’s your a must have summer accessory?

Sunglasses. Coco Channel has that thing where she says, “Put everything on and then take one thing off,” I think it’s the opposite; put everything on and then put on something else. So put on the sunglasses or add something fun. I just like how they really complete a look.

What do you say to people who look at your clothes and say, ‘I can’t wear something like that’?

You totally can no matter what you think. It’s really easy to do; you just have to take it one step at a time. Don’t try and go head-to-toe crazy clashing prints because that’s just going to be overwhelming and you might feel like you’re in some sort of costume and not like yourself.

To keep up with Hayley Elsaesser, follow her on Instagram @hayleyelsaesser and on Twitter @HAYLEYELSAESSER.

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