Beloved Toronto designer Hayley Elsaesser is recognized around the world for her colourful, pop-art inspired prints. Since launching in Australia in 2013, Hayley’s wares have appeared on runways at Melbourne, Toronto and New York fashion weeks, and on the likes of Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kat Von D and Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), to name a few.
Available this spring, her latest collection was inspired by the 90s version of Romeo & Juliet, once again drawing from pop culture to offer trademark prints in wearable styles for all shapes and sizes. Shop the collection at her flagship Queen St. Toronto location and online at HayleyElsaesser.com.
Do you know where you get your drive from?
I was raised by a single mom, so I had an incredibly strong, hardworking role model growing up. Basically, I didn’t know you could be another way! She’s instilled a very strong work ethic in myself and my brother. I’ve always been someone who wanted to accomplish a lot and won’t stop until I do!
How do you stay self motivated?
I am a very ambitious person, who feeds off results. Every time I accomplish something new it keeps me going in a big way.
What would you say is your preferred way to network?
I have made some really great connections online through Instagram that have led to great things. Social media makes it so easy to collaborate with people.
How would you describe your process for deepening relationships
I’m a fairly private, reserved person which people find surprising based on my appearance. This means it takes me a while to open up. I do find when I work with someone on a project, the collaboration usually brings us closer. I really love to get close with people who are equally passionate and I have something in common with.
What are your preferred tools for keeping organized?
I’m all about organizing myself digitally. I am constantly taking notes on my phone and live by the calendar with my busy schedule.
What is your favourite way to market your namesake brand?
For me, social media is a great way to market my brand. I’m organically reaching my customer in a fun way they can enjoy, but also educating about my product at the same time.
Who has been your mentor in helping you find success?
I haven’t had one specific mentor that I owe my success to, but I’ve worked with many people who have influenced me on my path. I had some really amazing teachers at university with a wealth of knowledge to share about the industry, which was a great introduction. I’ve also been working with some family who are business savvy and have been important sounding boards for me, offering key advice.
What social issue does your organization raise funds and awareness for?
We have a selection of pins that we sell and a percentage of sales goes to the Happy Hippie Foundation. The Happy Hippie Foundation fights for the rights and welfare of homeless youth, the LGBTQ community, women’s rights and other social justice issues.
How and where do you continue to learn?
I’m constantly reading, researching, watching things, and just keeping my eyes and ears open. I learn so much every day and I am constantly growing.
Do you have a fitness ritual that you live by?
I don’t actually but I really should! My long days can really take a toll on my health and energy so being more fit is something I’m striving to achieve this summer.
How do you feed your soul?
I feed my soul by being around friends and family and my beloved cat phantom.
How would you describe the eating ritual that makes you feel most powerful?
I like to have green juice when I’m feeling run down as it seems to give me a good boost of energy and just helps me feel healthier jamming all those fruits and veggies into a drink!
Who is your favourite personality to follow on YouTube?
I love Stef Sanjati. She is so lovely and real, so it’s no surprise she has such a great following. I recently did a video with her that was super fun.
What type of content do you find most compelling on Instagram?
I love street style posts. I believe that it is people who really bring fashion and clothing to life and I LOVE seeing how different people around the world style their clothing.
what lifestyle brand would you say shares your values most?
I’d have to say something like Manic Panic or Urban Decay. They’re known for being brands that embrace being unique and different and love colour in a big way.
Who is your favourite artist?
Miles Aldridge is a fashion photographer from London and I absolutely love his work. It is so vibrant and surreal and out of this world.
Probably some sort of pasta dish. I love Italian food.
I’m not a huge sports fan but I always love watching the gymnastics when the Olympics are on.
Favourite place to unwind?
In the bath. I love to soak and just relax and reflect.