As the Brit fashion label makes its Western Canadian bow, we sat down with its style-savvy CEO.
With the opening of Western Canada's first Ted Baker location—in Pacific Centre (701 W. Georgia St.)—set for tomorrow (June 17), we spoke with the British fashion retailer's CEO, Ray Kelvin, about its latest line, as well as the upcoming fall collection. Inspired by a dapper 19th-century British explorer's log cabin in wintry Canada, the Pacific Centre outlet will be bursting with the spring/summer 2015 collection: think immaculately tailored blazers, tropical-flowered dresses, and crustacean-printed tees. How would you describe the Ted Baker woman? She knows what she wants when it comes to fashion, be it a classic tailored dress or a head-to-toe floral look. And the Ted Baker man? Our men are sophisticated and fun; they like to look sharp when going out in their tailored clothes and want to make a statement with their look. How has your personal style shaped the line? I believe a man’s style is defined by the details that set him apart from the crowd, which is why my menswear collections offer something different for the more discerning gentleman. What inspired you to create the men’s bicycle-friendly line? Seeing the Ted team cycle to work and have to shower and change made me realize there was a gap in the market for cycle-friendly wear that is both fashionable and functional. What can we expect from the design of the Vancouver store? The store is inspired by Ted’s trip to the great Canadian outdoors. Paying tribute to the authentic culture and rustic heritage of Western Canada, the store’s design is inspired by the imagined 19th-century luxury log cabin of a British explorer. We’ll have a series of unconventional props that tell the story of an English gent’s discovery of the Great White North, reimagining his treasured silver service teapots as plant pots, carving knives as saws, tennis rackets as fishing nets, and telephones as hammers. What are your favourite Ted Baker items—for men and women—for a summer night out? I always love a great printed blazer, and this season we have a host of styles, from grey polka dots to our sunflower print. For women, summer nights out are all about our printed maxi dresses; they utilize our key patterns from the season and are flattering to all body shapes. Bright floral prints feature prominently in your spring/summer line. What is the best way to wear such bold pieces? It’s really about personal style, but I love seeing people in head-to-toe print. Or for those who don’t want to be the centre of attention, one key printed piece can liven up a more classic look. And for fall? Throughout the men’s collection, we have bold and painterly prints inspired by thistles, roses, and leaves. Linings give a nod to the arts-and-crafts movement and take the form of still-life art, with cockerels, fruit bowls, and a sneaky lobster. The women’s fall collection is a beautiful marriage of rich autumn colours and our key floral prints on pretty silhouettes inspired by the '60s and '70s.