When Lauren Dary celebrated her 30th birthday, she had an epiphany — “now’s the time to do all the things I’ve ever wanted to do.” She had built a successful career as a photographer, but also had a backburner dream to be involved in the fashion world in some way. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to make my own clothes. I loved sewing, and then it just, it was something I never really nurtured.”
So, she set her sights on reigniting her passion for sewing. While she was accepted into the Fashion Design program at MC College, she opted not to attend and instead focused on leveling up her skills through online courses and mentors. When it came time to design her first piece, she knew exactly what she was going to make — a classic jumpsuit. “I’ve always loved one pieces, jumpsuits of all kinds,” says Dary. “I really wanted to create something that was versatile, that could be worn to your corporate job or your night out or your date night, lounging, whatever. It could do everything.”
Dary created her company, Gus Sloan, and got to work perfecting the brand’s first jumpsuit available to consumers. There were several versions, all tested by friends and altered based on the feedback, before she decided on the final product. Everything from the accentuation of the natural waist to the cuffed hem on the leg to the mid-weight fabric was designed with women’s bodies in mind. She made 23 jumpsuits on her own, sold them online and at a launch event, and then found local seamsters in Edmonton to help with production of future pieces. “I wanted to try to do everything sustainably, I wanted everything to be made in Edmonton,” says Dary.
Gus Sloan intends to release three to four limited edition jumpsuits per year, in addition to the brand’s staple pieces.
This article appears in the April 2019 issue of Avenue Edmonton.