Shop Talk

THE Q&A: Rania Abdulla’s menswear line offers classic (and colourful!) options for the metro male

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

This week at alt-runway show Fashion Art Toronto, Ottawa native Rania Abdulla launches her menswear line Pairing Paisleys by The Wardobe Stylist. That’s right, menswear! At SHOP TALK we have always applauded stand-out mens fashion, so were excited to hear that Rania was striking out into what can be a void of blacks, blues, and bow-ties. And the timing is excellent: as period dramas recall dandy dressers and the slim-fit trousers continue to dominate the runways, menswear is gaining traction.

Indeed, with the launch of Pairing Paisleys, Rania calls for gentleman to make a comeback, offering them baroque blazers, fitted trousers, dress shirts, capes, and bold paisley prints. Here, we talk to the designer about the line.

Rania Abdulla

SHOP TALK: Why a menswear a collection?
Rania Abdulla: Why not? Womenswear is so saturated, but when it comes to menswear there isn’t as much to choose from. I feel men have been left out because women are the bigger spenders, but men need to dress too, and dress well.

ST: Will we be able to buy the collection in Ottawa?
RA: For the time-being, the collection will only be available for purchase in NYC, Miami, and L.A. for wholesale orders. Hopefully some Ottawa boutiques will see the collection and want to house it in their locations.

ST: Can you describe the men that you imagine will wear Pairing Paisleys?
RA:I designed the collection for the urban male aged 18-45 years old. The Pairing Paisleys man can be a university student or post-grad, a young professional or a man already established in his career. He can be single, on the market, taken or married … with or without children. It’s for your average male that likes to be trendy, yet classic, and well-groomed.

Pairing Paisleys includes fitted trousers — but not lapdogs. Photo by Mitch Lenet.

ST: Who is your favourite menswear designer?
RA: Scotch and Soda

ST: Who is your favourite celebrity stylist?
RA: Don’t have one … but I love the costume designers of Boardwalk Empire, Downtown Abbey and Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass!

ST: Are you still styling while you get more into designing menswear? Can you tell us about your current clients?
RA: For the time being, I’ve put styling on hold until FAT is over, then I’ll jump back into it. Some of my clients are Pennington’s, Canada Post, Spyglass Photo, Billings Bridge, and the NHL.

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