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STYLE MUSE | Michelle Rizzardo, Retail Owner

STYLE MUSE | Michelle Rizzardo, Retail Owner

A select number of Creators in each city act as ambassadors of community and connection. Retail owners are among these few; we should feel fortunate for their dedication to places and spaces.

Michelle Rizzardo is this week's Style Muse and owner of One of a Few, a curated apparel and lifestyle boutique in Gastown, Vancouver. While Mother to Rilo, Hunter and Lira, Michelle has dedicated the last 17 years to cultivating a community of lovers of emerging and well-established designers focusing on slow fashion.

My first experience with Michelle and One of a Few was in 2008, while I attended school in Vancouver. I didn't know it then, but Michelle would grow to be a significant source of inspiration and support for me. I'm in awe of what she has created!

Throughout Michelle's career, she has been able to navigate change, entrepreneurship, motherhood, relationships with others, and her own with the fashion industry. Read on to learn more about Michelle and her observations on the industry.

Q: How do you advocate for sustainable fashion through your shop?

"I find like-minded designers and companies who look for better solutions for the fashion industry. Many are starting and making items themselves, and some are consciously aware of who is making their pieces. Some focus on natural fabric and small production. It's truly impressive all the work these companies do to improve the industry. We love featuring them and giving them a space to build. Many brands are not available readily, and we love being able to bridge the gap for people who are searching to see these brands in person. "

Q: Why do you choose secondhand?

"To add something special and unique to a timeless outfit. I love giving new life to secondhand items as they are often super well made and one of a kind. It's less wasteful, unique and much better for the environment."

Q: What is your most coveted secondhand piece?

"I bought a black crepe midi-length jacket at Edith the Machinist in New York. It dresses up any outfit and is a statement piece I feel great in. The way it fastens is very special. I love thinking about the life it lived before me."

Q: Where do you see the fashion industry heading?

"In the last couple of years, I've seen a larger audience for sustainable and locally made pieces. If more people choose ethically made clothing, secondhand, and from companies that emphasize who's making their items and where the fabric is from, it will help lower production costs, making it more affordable. Hopefully, this will decrease the demand for fast fashion items, lighten the excess load and help with so many adverse effects of fast fashion. "

Q: What fashion lessons do you want to leave for future generations?

"Wear what makes you feel good. Feeling comfortable in your clothing gives you the freedom to just be yourself without worrying about how tight something is, low cut or high cut something or whatever makes you feel uncomfortable. Give yourself a break. You are the hardest one on yourself. Don't follow trends; follow your heart, but always step out of your box and have fun with clothing. Buy less and more thoughtful pieces that will last you."

Stay tuned for more stories like Michelle's with the Creator Series.
Read about previous creators here.

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