Everyone has his or her own definition of “fashion”. When the word “fashion” pops up, some will automatically think of Vogue magazine or maybe a certain fashion designer. “Fashion is the way one expresses them self to the world visually. It doesn't necessarily mean on-trend, but it does imply an intentional assertion of a personal aesthetic,” says Kahlon. Regardless, when the word “fashion” is used, the word has multiple meanings to it.
In Toronto, many people like to minimalize the colours of what they wear. “My personal style is a mix of feminine and edgy aesthetics and is always evolving. I gravitate towards interesting silhouettes, simple detailing and dark colours. I also love a one-of-a-kind print,” says Kahlon. She loves one-of-a-kind print. Because of what’s on-trend now, the fashion is very minimalistic and bland colours are used in peoples’ outfits. Kahlon continues to keep her personal style unique yet simple at the same time.
“My fashion inspiration comes from a mix of people I see on the street and my personal fashion icons of the past,” says Kahlon. “I'm constantly inspired by the stylish women I see around Toronto, whose style looks effortless yet on-trend. Toronto girls never look like they're trying too hard, but still have a distinct look. In terms of fashion icons from the past, I will always love Denise Huxtable's style from The Cosby Show. She rocked a plethora of short hair styles and ultra-cool oversized outfits.”
Not only does Kahlon’s personal style inspires me, but she also runs her own boutique in the heart of downtown Toronto. “I love fashion retail because it combines analytical and creative work, both of which I really enjoy. I am foremost a business woman, but being able to work in the business side of fashion is really fun. Fashion is always changing, so I never get bored,” says Kahlon.
I was curious on what made her pursue a career in fashion. “I always knew that I wanted to work in fashion. I grew up watching Fashion Television and shopping in the US to find the type of clothes I couldn't find here,” she says.
Experiences in the fashion industry is crucial when running a business. Kahlon says “I worked in buying and store operations for over 10 years before opening my own shop. I've been a store manager, buyer, and operations coordinator in retail companies both large and small. I've worked for brick-and-mortar retailers as well as e-commerce businesses.” With this much experience working in the fashion industry, she decided to open up her own store.
Kahlon has been running her own boutique for three years along Queen Street West. The store was first opened up as Sauvage. Then renamed the store to Smoke+Ash not too long ago during March, 2015. The name the store has somewhat changed in terms of new brands coming into the store; lifestyle products are now carried in the store, and the aesthetic is very simple, unique and always evolving. Smoke+Ash only carries women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Also, lifestyle products; such as, candles, soaps, and more. The brands are unique and up to date. A few of the brands are local; some brands are from Australia, and LA. I find that Smoke+Ash is the shop for every woman in Toronto and everywhere else who like to keep it simple and one-of-a kind.