Lisa Wicklund Plants the Seeds of Style
Article: Laura Neumann – Contributor
Lisa Wicklund the owner of Seed Sustainable Style could be considered an “Outsider” in the world of Mainstream Fashion, but she isn’t apologizing for it. Her avant-garde approach to fashion and retail is a refreshing and cerebral approach.
Approaching its fifth year in business, Seed Sustainable Style has stayed true to its sustainable, environmentally and socially friendly selection of designers. Not to be confused with all-bamboo-everything clothing, sustainable fashion “stays local, employs other locals, doesn’t hurt the environment and creates economy.”
Working within sustainable fashion requires more innovation and creativity than fast-fashion. Her business sets itself aside from Regina’s other boutiques and big-box retailers by being the only store in the city that strictly carriers Canadian designers. But, sustainable isn’t the only criteria that her selection of apparel has to meet.
“It has to be good,” laughs Wicklund. Instead of marketing gimmicks that other Regina labels throw around to come off as ‘eco-friendly’ while they mass-produce their clothing out of Mexico or the United States, Seed goes right to the source and creates a direct opportunity for customers to choose products that make a positive impact on society and the environment. The store carries Canadian designers like Smoking Lily, Downtown Betty and Adrika. Each is very unique in themselves, from wooden sunglasses to up-cycled jeans and recycled-leather hats. The store finds a perfect balance between edgy, avant-garde pieces and comfy, everyday staple apparel.
Wicklund’s work doesn’t just end at her store; she is also a designer herself. Last May, she unveiled her first full collection out of Regina in Saskatchewan Fashion Week. Her Seed Sustainable Style collection embodied the idea of “wearable art” and “fashion as art,” consisting of avant-garde pieces—all sustainable—that challenged the cookie-cutter, mass-produced pieces of other designers.
Wicklund is a huge advocate for staying true to individual style and dressing how you feel instead of following what others tell you is ‘in style’. Inspired by cerebral designers like Vivianne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, the collection exemplifies what it means to be high fashion with looks that ranged from dominatrix-lumberjack to red-lace flapper suits. The body of work was created with focus on the art aspect of fashion that women feel beautiful in. With ample experience in the industry, Wicklund brought her vision of ‘Luxury Lost’ to life by designing and sewing the entire collection.
The theme of ‘Luxury Lost’ is the idea that fashion these days is very transient—we don’t take the time to appreciate the slower process that it takes to develop individual style. This creates a struggle for art and beauty with this common fleeting mentality in society. With so many stores offering the same mass-produced designs, it’s easy to fall into the herd. Self-expression shouldn’t be bought at a big-box store. Pushing the fashion boundaries in a society where many people want whatever some young fashion blogger with no real design experience is promoting, or what some retail Instagram account is saying is ‘so hot right now’ should be celebrated. Lisa’s collection and store stays true to this idea, challenging the customer to take a deeper look at what they consume.
Traveling to different showcases around North America, Wicklund is constantly in the midst of seeking out new designers and mingling with fellow artists. For being the forefront carrier of Canadian designers in Regina, she was recently chosen to attend Montreal Fashion Week back in early September. There, she made connections with other designers and artists, as well as donned some of her own pieces from her collection. Even in a fashion-central city like Montreal, the circle of designers like Lisa remains small.
For the upcoming year, Seed Sustainable Style has some big plans underway. Along with starting an online store where the customer is directly contacted to ensure that their order is catered to their liking and fit, Lisa is also working on adding to her collection, which will make its first appearance this February in Montreal. She plans on doing a private showing in Regina, as well as showing it in non-traditional ways such as video and collaborations with other local artists. To add to this, she will be releasing an editorial shoot to other buyers and eventually for public circulation. Wicklund herself did the art direction, makeup and styling for this shoot which gives the ‘Luxury Lost’ vision a print visual in a story-book style collective.
It is artists like Lisa who are changing fashion and creating opportunity for other local mavericks to contribute to the community and explore new creative ideas. She isn’t about to slow down. Put that in your fedora and smoke it.