Saturday, March 31, 2012


By Eva Fydrych
Photos by Owen McLeod

Owen McLeod for Fashion Studio Magazine

All photos by Owen McLeod

Pink Tartan presented their Fall/Winter 2012 collection during World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto on March 15, 2012. Luxurious fur jackets in black, white, beige and ruby red, peplums and elongated silk trousers, powerful and feminine silhouettes - a collection of well-tailored, beautifully made clothes for a strong, confident woman. Pink Tartan designs are elegant and sophisticated with a charm that gives each piece modern wearability. 

All photos by Owen McLeod



Kimberley Newport-Mimran is the President and Head Designer of Pink Tartan, the womenswear line she co-founded in Toronto in 2002. The New York showroom opened in 2004, and the line is now housed at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and The Bay as well as specialty stores across North America, Dubai and Seoul.

Newport-Mimran has also designed sleek retro-fabulous uniforms for Canada's boutique Porter Airlines and the uber-hip rooftop bar at 60 Thompson in New York City, Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel Tropicana bar and the concierges at Holt Renfrew.

Growing up in Niagara Falls, Newport-Mimran was captivated by her grandmother Aubrey. "She was a lady who lunched and played bridge. She served tea sandwiches in pearls and a polished shoe. Always topped off with a perfect coat." This romantic and grand formative image remains at the heart of her granddaughter's style ethos. She sums it up: "Simplicity is the secret to elegance."

By the age of 14 Newport-Mimran was on the front lines of fashion, selling retail where she found a passion for clothes and working with her customers. She studied fashion merchandising and manufacturing management at college. She began her full time career in the buying office at The Hudson's Bay Company, North America’s oldest retailer. She went on to product development and merchandising and specialized in Denim and Menswear at Club Monaco. That is where she learned the importance of structure and tailoring. "Execution is key," became her lifelong mantra.

She later moved to Caban where she further exemplified, "Sourcing is an art: finding fabric and manufacturing makes the difference in luxury design." There she met and married the CEO, Joe Mimran. Today the pair is Canadian fashion royalty; Mimran launched the Joe Fresh mass fashion phenomenon after he sold Club Monaco to Ralph Lauren. The couple's daughter Jacqueline was born in 2001, shortly before Newport-Mimran struck out on her own designer path to create Pink Tartan.

Pink Tartan had a clear identity from the first cut. The crisp cotton twill menswear shirting cut snug to a woman's body and finished with elegant French cuffs remains a staple today. She tweaks the modern classic every season, adding a ruffle or a fresh new colour. Other key pieces followed, and are continually re-invented: essential pieces such as the peacoat; what she calls "the technical black pant" -- a wonder of hip-snug engineering; the sexy silk jersey dress in wrap or deep-V front; and there is always a Parisian chic take on the little black cocktail dress. With a nod to grandmother Aubrey, there is often a little coat to match.

"I'm a sportswear designer," says Newport-Mimran. "Clothes to live your life in and easily transition from day to night." As her range and sophistication as a designer grew so did her hunger to explore her own edgier sensibilities: recent collections are spiked with sequins for day and louche hoodies. But the continuum remains understated super-luxe fabrics with body, and seam articulation that allows everything to move freely. Ladylike, yet never prim.

With the launch of the flagship store Pink Tartan, a Lifestyle Concept, all the facets of Newport-Mimran's life and work come together. Just down the block from where she once sold coats, a former interior design showroom and once antique shop has been transformed into a flagship for Newport-Mimran to give context to her clothing. One of the oldest heritage buildings in Yorkville has been transformed by internationally acclaimed design team Burdi-Felik, along with Mimran’s sensibility to make an amazing retail space. The rooms are filled with the entire Pink Tartan collection and an edited selection of objects, books and complementary designer pieces that illustrate Newport-Mimran's inspirations. The perfect jean or riding boot to pair with her own pieces, her favourite slipper by Church's of London, or her favourite toothbrush from Japan.

The complete picture is tied together like the bow of a nipped-in waist on one of Newport-Mimran's perfect little black dresses.

Fall/Winter 2012 (Photos courtesy of Pink Tartan)

View full Fall/Winter 2012 collection

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