Recently, INFUSE Magazine had the honour of interviewing Caryn Parchment who is the Co-Founder of DivaGirl Fashion Toronto, which was launched in 2015. Caryn’s love for fashion began when she was a young girl at the age of eight, and continued to grow over the years. At age 16, she started sketching her own designs.
Caryn also has a passion for food and has done some food blogging, to complement her love for fashion. The love of these two things eventually gave birth to Caryn’s blog FashionableFoodieTO. We spoke to Caryn about her thoughts on Toronto’s fashion industry, how to build your own business, and most importantly, female empowerment. Continue reading to see what she had to say.
Q: What made you bring DivaGirl to Toronto and how has it changed since the beginning?
A: DivaGirl alone was founded by Laura Furtado. In 2015, Laura started developing different lifestyle avenues within DivaGirl, with the intention of having all different types of women run a different pillar. It began with DivaGirl-Preneur and a beauty pillar.
In June of 2015, I approached Laura and said DivaGirl should have a fashion division. In January of 2019, we decided they would merge of all the pillars together. Now, the brand holds events that are catered towards one pillar or another, but the brand itself operates as a whole.
Q. What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
Women no longer have to feel that they are “lesser than”, in order to get ahead. When I was growing up, business was a man’s world. Today’s women are showing that there are no jobs for only men or women. After post-secondary, I was told that my collection would never survive.
This experience is what drove me to start DivaGirl- so that women who are coming out of post-secondary school are supported and pushed through any roadblocks they might encounter. Women now have the knowledge, power and support to do whatever they want. The sky’s the limit.
Q. Do you think that the Toronto fashion industry is missing anything. If so, what?
Over the past five years, I have seen many changes take place in the fashion industry, especially along the lines of inclusivity. At the moment, I don’t think there is anything left. It’s important to focus on what we are already doing.
By: Vanessa Marion