10 Things the Ultra-Stylish Smythe Founders Can’t Live Without
Toronto-based fashion brand Smythe was born out of two long-time friends’ frustration with women’s workwear. Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe used their love of fashion to design their ideal women’s tailored blazer in 2004—a garment that still sells today. Nearly two decades later, the duo has expanded into ready-to-wear dresses, outerwear and fragrance, and recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of their first bricks-and-mortar location in Toronto after years of focusing on wholesale and e-commerce.
Through their designs, Lenczner and Smythe are also helping raise awareness for the Woman Life Freedom movement, a global collective that is fighting for the human rights of women and girls in Iran. SMYTHE recently released an 11-piece collection in collaboration with graffiti artist Chiara Catalano, of which all of the proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International to support its work in Iran. Items include a hand-painted trench coat that says “Women life freedom” in black paint, and blazers with quotes like, “I really do care” and, “For all womankind” emblazoned on them. The collection is available to purchase exclusively through an online auction from March 30 to April 2.
Here are 10 things that Lenczner and Smythe swear by for inspiration, relaxation and getting the job done.
Vintage Levi’s jeans
The co-founders were on a unified mission to perfect the women’s blazer when they started the brand and still love the staple today. “Blazers are not only the core of our collection, but the pillar of both our wardrobes,” says Lenczner. Smythe enjoys pairing the tailored and structured garment with Levi’s vintage denim that she’s picked up during her travels.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5
Lenczner likes to keep a bottle of this multi-purpose soothing balm on her desk for a mid-day spritz. “I have dry skin, so moisturizing is necessary followed by some pressed face oil,” she says.
Gee Beauty matte lipstick in Marilyn
Smythe swears by this luxe, antioxidant-packed red lipstick when she needs a pick-me-up. “People always go under the eye to conceal their sleepless nights, but nothing makes you look more alive than a great red lip,” she says.
Frequently going into nature to relax and spend time with family and friends is a must for the two. Lenczner says her most cherished memories are skiing anywhere with mountains and lots of snow in the winter, and spending time at a cottage by the lake during the summer. Once a year, the pair also takes a trip to a new destination with friends. “It doesn’t matter where we go—just to be able to leave our routines and absorb something new is inspiring,” says Smythe.
When they’re not working on their clothing line and fragrance, they often turn to interior design to decompress and use it as a relaxing creative outlet. The pair have been known to spend hours rearranging each other’s living spaces.
The days that start with exercise are the most productive and balanced for Lenczner and Smythe. Both work out together a couple of times a week with their personal trainer, Paula Ryff, from Ultimate Athletics in Toronto. “Her ballet and bodybuilding background is a unique combo we love,” says Smythe.
Vitamins and supplements
The two stockpile electrolytes in an effort to keep extra hydrated throughout the day. Recently, Lenczner has also been taking personalized vegan vitamins from Nourished, which are custom-made based on specific nutritional needs. “They have a sour flavour, which I love,” she says.
Queen Street West’s food scene
Since morning workouts became a priority, Lenczner and Smythe rarely have time to go out for lunch, so they often rely on Uber Eats. Working in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood, Mandy’s, Lambo’s Deli, Hello 123 and Agora by Mamakas are on regular rotation. Also in their work neighbourhood is Taverne Bernhardt’s, which Lenczner says makes the best roast chicken she’s ever had.
To relax during long drives, Lenczner usually asks Smythe to play a Spotify playlist called “Andrea’s Faves,” which includes a range of music from artists like Talking Heads, The Beatles, H.E.R and Metric.