By Sarah Ward
Photography by Kareen Mallon
Chloe and Parris Gordon have quickly become the hottest sister act in the Canadian fashion world. Only in their 20s, the creative minds behind Chloe Comme Parris have caused a buzz in the fashion industry and are on the fast track to success.
A line that started only a few years ago, Chloe Comme Parris has gained a large and dedicated following that many young designers dream of when starting a new business.
“I don’t think either of us expected [the instant success] at all. We want people to enjoy what we’re making and for it to be something they can respond to and feel empowered in,” says Chloe. “But I think it’s amazing that people have started to feel that way about our clothes.”
At the latest World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, their fall/winter 2012 collection had the room overflowing with spectators eager to see what the Gordon sisters have created for this season. Offering a mix of 1920s silhouettes and tough, edgy pieces, the unique clothing and jewelry that the siblings design represent the combination of different tastes and training that exists between them.
“Chloe Comme Parris is the marriage of two totally different disciplines and two different people,” explains Parris. She studied jewelry design, while Chloe majored in textiles and fashion at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. “It combines our disciplines, putting together so many art practices into one,” Parris adds. “The drive and dedication to put different things on the backs of women walking down the street makes Chloe Comme Parris unique.”
Parris and Chloe’s contrasting backgrounds and tastes are the inspiration behind their work. When putting pieces together, Chloe will look at something that intrigues her from history, while Parris will choose a modern idea.
“It’s important to have a thread that’s historical and a thread that’s new, and create something fresh out of that,” says Chloe.
For this pair, a clash in taste is anything but negative — it has allowed them to put together refreshing pieces at fashion shows, which are often dominated by repetitive trends.
“We can always find two very different things and make them something new. That’s the forefront to our brand,” says Chloe.
Regardless of their views or disciplines, there is a mutual respect between the two sisters — for the art of fashion — that solidifies their roles as designers and rules out any sibling rivalry behind the scenes.
The Gordon sisters are truly passionate about their creations and treat them as pieces of art. Their mother, a custom-print artist, also helps to contribute to their designs.
The future looks bright for the duo, who hope to expand Chloe Comme Parris to an international level in the years to come. They are doing what they love, and they enjoy sharing their success as a team; their business reflects this strong family bond.
“If you work with a friend, you can see a different side of them in business. We had such a good relationship growing up that it paved the way for this.”