The earliest Women’s Day observance, was held on February 28, 1909 in New York, organized by the Socialist Party of America and led by Theresa Malkiel, an American labor activist, suffragist, and educator, to protest against working conditions garment workers were forced to endure. For many years, women in North America and across Europe, united despite their cultural differences in order to fight for rightful equality for all.
These stepping stones paved the way for women to have the ability and courage to express themselves, and fashion has become the perfect way to do just that. Designers are continuing to boldly express their political and personal views with statement tees and accessories, as the empowerment of women continues to be a central feature in the fashion world.
Introducing designer and founder of Rosehound Apparel & Design, Ms. Megan Campagnolo. The Toronto-based artist, graduated from the prestigious Ryerson Fashion Design Institute in 2013, the exact place where her line was born.
“The concept originally derived from my graduation project under the name “Melancholy”, a casual and contemporary Twin Peaks-themed collection, and evolved into its current state, expanding to accessories and flair. I began to envision a young, rebellious woman who unapologetically stole flowers from her neighbors garden to give to her crush – I think that best describes the drive behind my brand.”
Check out our interview with the lovely designer below, and be sure to enter our giveaway on Instagram for a chance to win girl power-fueled apparel and celebrate the gift of being a woman not just today, but every day!
Tell us about your background and the road that led to creating Rosehound Apparel & Design.
I moved to Toronto in 2008 to study fashion design, where I began setting down the groundwork for my own brand. I was embroidering sweatshirts and blouses that were inspired by Twin Peaks as well as other 90’s cult movies that I liked. I began to envision a young, rebellious woman who unapologetically stole flowers from her neighbors garden to give to her crush – I think that best describes the drive behind my brand.
Do you sketch your designs by hand first, or do you design all digitally?
I used to divide my time between drawing on paper and using Illustrator to create my designs – now I use Adobe Draw on an iPad Pro with the pencil. I love it so much because it combines the tactile element with the look of one of my finished products.
You mention “Though the fabric is sourced internationally, it is handmade, hand-dyed, and embroidered by yours truly.”
I love that you add a personal touch to your products. Do you feel that sets you apart from other companies?
I feel that maker culture in general is where I thrive, and I love to surround myself with similar artists. It’s unfortunate that the value of goods is compromised by larger corporations who can offer a less personal product at a more appealing price point.
Who were your female role models growing up? And whom do you admire today?
Growing up I was really into Destiny’s Child, TLC, and Mulan. I was more of a tomboy and in retrospect, their values of independence influenced me to be self-employed. Now that I’m older, I really love Rose McGowan and recently I saw this female monster truck driver named Haley Gault, who I just find so inspiring and fearless.
It’s awesome to know that you originally enlisted Cat and Kelly of Pigeons & Thread to assist you during the early stages. What is your personal advice for women on how to work less competitively and more collaboratively in their respective field?
Women need to stick together, and I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by other female makers. A little competition is healthy, but it’s important to understand the difference between encouraging others and putting them down. Together we can make even bigger things happen!
Your brand empowers consumers to live unapologetically. Why do you feel that is so important, especially in today’s world?
There are a lot of cliché ways to answer this – but life is too short to be apprehensive about expressing yourself. There is a lot of societal pressure to be and act a certain way, and in small ways outlets like fashion exist to help identify your personality to yourself as well as others. As a woman, feminism means a lot for us, but we are still at the beginning of a very long road as politics have recently proven. We can’t let that bring us down.
In honor of International Women’s Day, what is does being a feminist mean to you?
Being a feminist means being unafraid to speak your mind, being unafraid of the patriarchy, being unafraid to be vulnerable. The future feels bright despite the current political climate – where concepts like consent and mutual respect are becoming not just a reality but a standard.
Do you have any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Life doesn’t hold the promise of just ‘one’ opportunity. You create opportunities by looking for them. Try not to be discouraged – there will always be another way. I’m not sure what I imagined four years ago when I was last employed by someone else, but there is a lot of responsibility that is on your shoulders with no one else to blame for your shortcomings. It can be difficult. And comparison is the thief of joy. I don’t consider myself any more or less talented than any other artist, what is in your control is how hard you work. Don’t give up!
Just for fun, name three women you’d love to do the following with:
1. Pick their brain: Cookie Mueller
2. Observe their creative process: Miranda July
3. Travel the world with: My best friend, Alex, who I usually travel with – she is my go-to and always has interesting places and things to do up her sleeve.
What is your interpretation of a Raw Femme?
To me a Raw Femme sounds like a woman who does not pre-package herself for the male gaze or society in general. Someone who is fearless and unafraid to show who she is from the inside out. It feels and sounds very real.