Get to Know Mikayla & Naomi
Dia: What is alder apparel?
alder is a new Canadian outdoor brand by women for women. We make premium outdoor clothes that blend fashion and function so you never have to sacrifice style for comfort. Guided by our love of the outdoors, we work with leading sustainable materials + amazing ethical factories to create cute, comfy, versatile pieces in sizes XS-6X.
Dia: What led you to start your own line?
Frustration with ill-fitting, ugly outdoor clothes for women that weren’t ever comfy, cute or versatile. Plus the complete lack of connection to other outdoor brands touting hyper-performance as the only valid way to be outdoorsy!
Dia: What is alder’s mission?
To get more people, especially women outside! So many outdoor brands portray outdoor time as this super-intense, performance-driven activity (picture your classic outdoor ad with a ripped dude hanging off a glacier) when the majority of people don’t actually relate to that. We believe outdoor recreation should be about fun, connection, and recharging at whatever activity level is best for you <3.
Dia: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
We recently did a collaboration with Roots. As a Canadian, it was surreal to walk into their stores and see customers shopping and loving our designs.
Dia: How would you describe your style?
Mikayla: I’m pretty comfort driven. I would say my personal style is a Sporty, Thrifty Gardener. I absolutely love thrift shopping – especially for vintage sportswear, staple high-waisted pants, and flowy dresses. I often tailor pieces I’ve found with my local tailor. Since starting alder, I’ve fallen more and more in love with fashion as a personal, creative outlet and have been incorporating colour, prints, and embracing a just try it out attitude into my everyday style. I gravitate towards comfy, loose high-waisted bottoms and a cropped shirt for my everyday uniform and shake it up with dresses when the mood strikes me :).
Dia: What styles are your favorite in this new collection?
OVERALLS. We’ve spent the last three years perfecting the design. We went through dozens of fabrics and patterns to get the perfect fit and found an amazing soft, stretchy, and durable cotton canvas that stands up to all your overall needs! No gaping waist or saggy bottom on these, our whole product team is so happy with the fit.
Dia: What are you excited to add to your wardrobe this year?
Mikayla: I have been hunting for the perfect pair of black boots for years now – square toe, mid-shaft, 2″ heel. Like many of us, I can get really specific about what I want and I think I finally found the pair!
Dia: What do you want to see from fashion in the next 5 years?
M: I want to see more ownership of the entire garment lifecycle from brands. To me, that means offering pathways for customers to sell / give back / trade pieces when they are done with them and building sustainable pathways (upcycling, real garment and fiber recycling, etc) to keep textiles out of landfills and that burden be on the original creators of the garments.
Want to learn more about plus-size or size-inclusive designers available at Dia & Co? Check out our Get to Know features of Jenine Nerecina, Gia Sinatra, Hilary MacMillan, Tanya Taylor & Katharine Polk. Have a designer you’d love us to interview? Message us on Instagram.