Victoria-born clothing designer Hayley Gibson went to bed on election night ahead of the victory speech of recently re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, missing the moment Sophie Grégoire Trudeau stepped out wearing one of her own models. Gibson.
She woke up on Tuesday to an inbox full of messages from people sending pictures they had taken of her dress on their TV screens.
“It was really exciting. It’s such a recognizable dress with its bold prints and fit. I was so glad she chose such a bold style, so I immediately recognized her and was delighted, ”said Gibson.
The 42-year-old designer grew up in Victoria, where she launched her clothing line, Birds of North America, in 2007 in a 500 square foot apartment on Fort Street where she and her partner lived and worked.
She now lives in Toronto, selling her designs in a city store and online.
Gibson said she didn’t expect the cameo in her dress on election night to propel her business to new heights overnight, but she enjoyed the exposure. By Tuesday afternoon, she had sold five or six of the same green dress that Grégoire Trudeau wore on Monday night.
This morning we woke up to an avalanche of messages about Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wearing one of our dresses for Trudeau’s victory speech! Such an unexpected and absolutely delicious surprise !!! Go Canadian fashion !!! ?? pic.twitter.com/tAhzk1uRLT
– Birds of NA (@birdsofna)
September 21, 2021
“I expect that we will sell more as the day goes on, but I think people get the idea that there is more of an explosion happening because of something like this. When you have a business like this in fashion, it’s more of a concerted effort over the years to grow your business. There isn’t really a single deal that can make or break you, ”she said.
This is not the first time that Grégoire Trudeau has chosen a designer linked to Vancouver Island for his election night outfit. In 2019, she wore a dress by Eliza Faulkner, a fashion designer raised in Duncan.
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