Founded in 2013, HILARY MACMILLAN is renowned for its contemporary womenswear pieces made from high quality, cruelty-free fabrics. The brand features ready-to-wear styles in sizes XS-4X, home, swim, lounge, and accessories; in bold signature colors and textures.
The brand’s mission is rooted in making statements, taking action and building women up. Hilary MacMillan is a female owned & operated business, and through its Varsity Give Back initiative, the brand donates a portion of every varsity jacket sold, to Canadian organizations, Up With Women and Black Women In Motion.
Born in Boston but moving to Toronto at the age of 3, Hilary now calls Leslieville home with her 2 pups Gus & Maisie. She originally studied political science & economics but decided to follow her fashion intuition when she fell in love with the design process. Fast forward to 2013 the brand was born & the rest is history.
Hilary pulls inspiration from many facets of her life, among them, her Scottish heritage, her love of art, the Canadian landscape, & different design decades throughout history.
Get to Know Hilary
Dia: What led you to start your own line?
HM: After I graduated from design school, I was so inspired to put out my own collection but just wasn’t ready. I moved back to Toronto and worked with my sister to open a jewelry and accessory store in the West Queen West area of the city. I got to experience the fashion space from a buyer’s perspective and understand the business side of things. After a couple years, I felt I was ready to try to build a small capsule collection and test it in our store and see the reception. From there I really just very slowly and organically built on previous collections to grow it to where it is today. Nothing was fast or immediate and it has just been slow steady growth for the past 10 years.
Dia: How would you describe your style?
HM: Eclectic classic. I like to mix modern and vintage, colours and patterns, but keep it all relatively classic in how it is put together.
Dia: What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?
HM: Every year there is a new highlight and some exciting milestone we conquer but honestly, for me it is a privilege to be able to do what I do, and for it to resonate with people. When someone chooses to spend their money on something I’ve created, there is no better highlight than that. Cliche I know but truthful.
Dia: What was the inspiration for this collection?
HM: The collection is entitled ‘Rococo Revival’. We took a lot of inspiration from that design period, from travel and time spent outdoors more than ever before these past few years. So you will see lots of florals, tropical motifs and greenery. We leaned into sets and lace up details for some key pieces, and of course bold colours; Pinks, Reds, Oranges etc.
Dia: What styles are your favorite in this new collection?
HM: I absolutely love our piped midi dress, it is more of an occasion dress but I wear it all the time, I find it just so effortless to style and wear. Our plaid cape blazer is another personal favourite this season, it is kind of a hybrid of a trench coat and blazer, and can double as a jacket when it gets a bit cooler. Our feather hem skirt is another great piece from this season. I love wearing skirts, and I love pairing skirts with an oversized white blouse, and I think the combination of these two pieces is just so perfect for summer. Then finally our lace up trench is a must have for me. Every season we introduce new fun and exciting trench coats and this one we really loved.
Dia: What outfit makes you feel the most powerful or the most YOU? How does a great outfit make you feel?
HM: Right now it is matching sets. I’m all in on matching sets especially if they are a little more unique with a cool print. It makes me feel so put together, and intentional in my dressing. I get a confidence from that. All clothing should make you feel good and confident and once you have that outfit on, it can be surprising how good that can make you feel.
Dia: What are you excited to add to your wardrobe this year?
HM: I’m excited to add longer hemlines, I’m falling in love with anything midi or maxi. I love this ‘quiet luxury’ trend but I like to spice it up with a bit more print and pattern play. I’m all about colour in the summer and nothing better to lift your mood than dopamine dressing. I also am very excited about all these fun nineties references coming in like cool lace up details, all the denim we are seeing, and oversized pockets.
Dia: What do you want to see from fashion in the next 5 years?
HM: I want to see more inclusion, and space given to more voices. So often we see the same brands over and over again in media messaging and I would love more spotlight on more designers to show what they are creating. There are some really cool and interesting things happening and when we invest in these pieces, we propel fashion forward and foster all kinds of talent.
Dia: What do you love about 11 Honoré | Dia & Co integrating and becoming the premier destination for plus fashion?
HM: We love the accessibility. So many women have been left out of the fashion conversation because they don’t fit into these archaic notions within the fashion community. 11 Honore and Dia&Co. integrating offers women so many more options. It offers more styles, more sizes, more price points and truly there can be nothing greater than giving more options to choose from. It allows you to express your style so uniquely when you can make fashion choices that align with how you want to present yourself to the world.