At twenty years old, I said goodbye to my friends and family and drove the 5,000 km that separate Québec City from Vancouver, BC. to follow my dream to pursue a career in fashion. I spent the following year studying the ins and outs of the fashion industry, and when I should have been ready to jump into the career I always wanted, I instead felt lost and misled. I had come to the sad realization that the fashion industry was not as glamorous as I once thought.
I was now aware of the horrifying conditions garment workers are subject to. I knew that, as consumers got into the habit of throwing away the cheap and low-quality clothing they now bought on a regular basis from brands like Forever21 and H&M, clothing waste and other environmental issues were on the rise. I could not see myself contributing to this damaging industry, so I moved on to a different career path.
Four years later, a single weekend changed my outlook on my old dream. Helping a friend with a purposeful fashion project made me realize that I could still have the career I once desired, I simply had to be willing to change the rules of the industry. So I got to work and dreamed up of a clothing line that would reflect not only my personal aesthetic but also my ethical and environmental values.
I named my clothing brand after my dad, a man whose light burnt far too soon. Harly Jae means Jess on his Harley Davidson. It symbolizes freedom from outdated beliefs and societal rules that have been imposed on us. It reminds me to go after my own path and most importantly to enjoy the journey.
I hope our clothes will accompany you on your journey to discover yourself, empower you to pursue a curated lifestyle, live slow and intentionally, and always fight for love.
Sincerely, Laïla xoMy gift to you