The Eventide on a Friday, we gazed at the spider “web” calendar to see what Torontonians are constructing and their innovative functions. After much scrolling, one particular post caught our eye, instantly. “The Original Smiths” hosting a 2 day pop up event. Knowing how much we dig upcycling and vintage clothing our seats hit the mat and marked it down for Sunday’s to-do list. We spoke to both Anélia and Renée ( The Founders of The OG Smiths) for a brief session on their story & how they ended up in the hub Kensington Market.
Where are you both from and how did you get started? We are the Original Smiths Anélia and Renée. Basically, I (Anélia ) am from Toronto born and raised. I started in fashion because I loved it and got inspired by my mother, she always dressed me, not always the particular things I liked to wear but from that I got to create my own style and learned my love for vintage & up cycling just because I was able to make and create new things from it. (Renée) I am from England, I came here in 2008, my mother always dressed me weird, I look at baby photos and I was always wearing super colorful jumpsuits that I probably…would wear now. I always tried to blend in and it never really worked out, then when I came over here, I tried, even more, to blend in. The more I tried to blend in, the more I stood out. How I got into vintage and upcycling, is not having enough money. There was a time where money was tight, super tight and was an issue for a while. I started going to Value Village and Goodwill. I started picking out new pieces and people were like ‘ wow you dress so cool’ but that was all I could afford. People really enjoyed it. I started buying more stuff, and I didn’t think it would turn into something that I would make money from. Ever. It’s weird how life turns out sometimes.
What got you to this spot starting yesterday, was there a lot of red tape to get through? Time and energy. At the beginning of 2 years, our style was completely not this. It was straight up selling vintage pieces. We realized that we didn’t like the pieces we were selling. If we didn’t like it or have a passion for it how are we going to able to sell or go through with it? We changed our style and from that we are building ourselves back up again and back out in the community, to get people to recognize what we do, our logo and for them to know who the OG Smiths are. We make clothes that are art.
What advice do you have for young teens that haven’t come into their own yet and how to find their “ OG” style? Know yourself. It’s something that I know, I struggled a lot with when I was younger. Even sometimes now, leaving the country was a big change for me and coming here. The journey of myself, what do I like, what do I not like. Am I buying these shorts just because everyone else is buying it? I don’t really like going to the mall too much, but when I do, should I go to the women’s section or the men’s? I don’t care. I will go to whatever section I feel like going in. I will mix and match everything. Be you, whatever that looks like, whatever that feels like. Only you will know
Both beautiful souls, Anélia and Renée customize and design pieces, making them the haute couture queens of vintage. If you have any inquiries, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow them on social media @OGSmiths