Toronto Design Duo Creates Bold, Exciting Fashion for all Women
We sat down with Naomi Shapiro, half of the dynamic design team at Toronto’s Rock ‘N Karma, to talk creativity, balance, and how she and her co-designer (and sister!) Devorah Shapiro keep the magic coming after 25 years of success.
How did you get started as a designer?
Even as a child I knew I loved fashion, lived fashion and couldn’t get enough of fashion! My mother taught me to sew and paint at a young age and always encouraged my artistic side. My first design was a T-shirt I’d painted a silver ice cream cone on the front of; I was 8 years old. I began selling my designs in my late teens, and after graduating from fashion design, opened my first boutique in Toronto. From then on, there was no looking back!
What kind of vibe or feeling do you strive for with your designs?
Every time we design a ROCK ‘N KARMA collection, the goal is to keep it fresh and different; different from what’s already out there and different from what we’ve done in the past. We create clothes for women who wish to be unapologetically themselves, always. We create silhouettes for all body types, style for every personality, and design for women from all walks of life. Every motif is original and unique because we truly believe clothing is an expression of one’s individuality.
What have been some of your biggest successes?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in fashion for 25 years, and one of my biggest successes is owning a flagship boutique in Toronto that not only allows me to showcase my designs but gives me the chance to meet and connect with our clients face-to-face. To witness first-hand the confidence and beauty women feel when they wear ROCK ‘N KARMA is unparalleled.
What or who, inspires you?
It is difficult to pin point. I’m a city girl, deriving inspiration from everything around me. I get inspiration from the music I listen to, the places I travel and the people I meet. For me, creativity comes from everywhere! For instance, a portion of our collection for FW19 is inspired by David Bowie and his Ziggy Stardust days.
What is your creative process like?
For me, creativity is constant—it never stops! Concepts and ideas are always in the back of my mind. There is a very long process that goes on from the minute a design is sketched on paper to the time it hits the floor. I always challenge myself to make every design and collection different from what I’ve done in the past season, and totally unique to whats out there. It’s all about refining until you get your strongest piece.
Why did you choose the name: Rock ‘N Karma?
All our designs have a rock ‘n roll edge, so it started there. We feel incredibly blessed to work with an amazing team and truly believe in passing on good karma; hence, ROCK ‘N KARMA!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
I would tell them how important it is to understand every little part of the industry— from sewing and production to shipping and packaging; its about more than just the designs. I would say to htem never take “no” for an answer. Be strong, work hard and never give up. Lastly, it is essential to enjoy what you are doing, so don’t forget to have fun and take a break when you need to—Peace, Love, Balance!
About the Author
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