Toronto’s fashion scene is on the rise. We embody a sense of style that is so very Canadian: weather dependent and cultural. As a country made up of many different cultures, we have a dynamic mix of styles roaming our city. One thing most of us have in common is convenience—we dress for the Canadian cold and Toronto’s busy lifestyle.
Fashion has expanded with the rise of e-commerce and fashion influencers. They style outfits, tag the companies, and we follow suit by purchasing from those companies (usually with the influencer’s discount code, of course). This form of marketing inspires a sense of loyalty to these influencers because not only do we save some money when we shop their suggestions, but we are also inspired by their sense of style.
One Canadian influencer has gone above and beyond partnering with brands by actually creating her own. Kristina Pittam, also referred to by her blog name “We Are Living Art,” began as a content creator who was interested in fashion and styled outfits for her blog and Instagram.
How did the whole influencer thing start? Was that your goal when you started posting or was it with gaining followers that you decided to put more of an effort into it?
I started my blog as a creative outlet while I was in school. I definitely started it as a way to express my passion for the fashion industry and how I style my looks—something I’d always gotten a lot of positive feedback on. I decided to put more effort into my blog when I started working on the venture for La Reyna. I noticed how influencer marketing was starting to work, and it is what drove me to grow my account because I saw the potential in how influencers convert consumers of their content into customers.
Kristina started a brand called La Reyna, a line of bodysuits for women. The name means “the queen” in Spanish—an homage to her Spanish roots. Although she comes from a business background and not a design one, she has mastered the details necessary to create stylish and comfortable pieces of clothing. Considering she wears an array of different styles and brands every day, she has an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
What is your approach to creating these designs since you didn’t come from a design background?
My approach to creating my collection was, and continues to be, to come up with designs that are sexy yet supportive. For the core collection my vision is to create a variation of comfortable bodysuits that are suitable for every woman, every shape, and every bust size. My vision for the luxe collection is to create stunning one-of-a-kind garments that are innovative and attract that fashionista or industry professional type of customer.
As a true Torontonian, Kristina understands the lifestyle of the city woman. She is aware of the diversity of the city and our eclectic sense of style, and her line reflects those consumers perfectly.
What did you consider about the Toronto woman when creating your brand?
Toronto women share the ideal of being comfortable and practical. A lot of women in the city live an on-the-go lifestyle and like to dress for that. They prefer clothing that is transitional and can be worn day-to-night. I developed the core collection of La Reyna bodysuits to be just that, your classic everyday bodysuit.
One thing we all fail to realize is the work that goes into being an Instagram influencer. Or, as Kristina prefers to be called, a content creator, because the word “influencer” holds a sort of negative connotation. Kristina’s podcast, In Case You Haven’t Heard, co-hosted by fellow fashion content creator Danielle Alexandra (@allthingscoveted), explores all different sorts of careers, providing the inside scoop from people working in the fashion industry, the tech world, the corporate sphere, and beyond. In an episode discussing the daily life of a content creator, Kristina and Danielle talk about partnering with brands they believe in, how they pick and choose what content trips to go on, and how they build their own brand. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
How do you feel about the term “influencer”?
I consider myself a creator, and that’s [how] I label myself when pitching for potential collaborations or partnerships. I think it’s important to identify as that, because as we all know the word “influencer” is easily thrown around and I like to ensure people know that I thrive in creating content, whether it be for myself or for other brands.
In addition to owning and designing her own brand, she is running her blog, YouTube channel, Instagram, and podcast. To learn more about Kristina and her work, check out www.kristinapittam.com or @kristinapittam on Instagram. Shop her line at www.lareyna.ca or @lareynabykp on Instagram.