PLUS-SIZE ETHICAL FASHION with LISA AVIVA

Lisa A. Bleviss has designed both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories for private clients, and stores such as Holt Renfrew and Takashimaya. Her work has sold in luxury boutiques and department stores in the U.S.A., Canada & Japan. An emerging luxury brand for sustainably minded women sizes 10+, LISA AVIVA utilizes timeless silhouettes and luxurious fabrics. Slow fashion in clean lines, crafted locally with luxe materials – simplifies dressing for the boardroom, the playroom or the red eye to anywhere. LISA AVIVA‘s materials are carefully considered, utilizing natural fibers – wool, cashmere, linens and cottons.  All pieces are designed, created, and sewn in North America.  We acknowledge our industry’s impact on the global environment and continue to research and implement ways to create fashion positively and ethically.

Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Eddie Nehani | Model: Daniela Lombardi

LISA AVIVA is committed to working within the guidelines outlined in the “Regulatory Guide to Action,” published in 2017, by the Boston Consulting Group and Global Fashion Agenda.  

As a privately owned company focused on balancing fashion and sustainability, LISA AVIVA has committed to the following models of sustainability:

”We are committed to slow fashion. Honoring tradition and heritage clothing and accessories, our garments last for years, not days or months.​

We value the knowledge and experience of our artists, believing that every relationship is reciprocal.  A collaboration based on mutual respect enhances the collective experience.

We choose to partner with other small businesses in the many stages of developing a collection, especially those committed to sustainable models.

We are committed to transparency, sharing with our clients the steps we take each season to become increasingly sustainable, such as: eliminating synthetic blends after Collection 1.

We reduce our impact on the environment, beginning with the design process and lasting throughout delivery:

Given the choice of ordering mass quantities, we minimize waste by ordering and producing smaller, exclusive quantities.  LISA AVIVA utilizes Oeko-Tex Standard 100 zippers for outerwear, from a specialty manufacturer and sources unique deadstock notions from specialty suppliers. Recycled materials are employed whenever possible, for print materials, as well as for packing and shipping.

Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Eddie Nehani | Model: Daniela Lombardi

A TALK WITH LISA AVIVA ABOUT ETHICAL + SLOW FASHION

How does your brand position itself on the international market?

LISA AVIVA is a Sustainable Luxury fashion brand for women sizes 10+. Providing our clients with a tabula rasa for personal artistic expression, utilizing luxurious textiles and classic silhouettes. Currently serving the North American market, the collection will be expanding our European reach. I realize we have competition in the international market and believe that competition only makes us all strive to be better.

How the brand was born and how many people are involved in the team now?

As a lifelong curvy woman, I have an intimate knowledge of the needs of curvy women with sustainability concerns and a desire for a professional wardrobe which facilitates self-expression. While the company is still small, I consistently collaborate with as many as 30 contractors each season.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for a young brand right now?

When I started my previous company over a decade ago – it was enough to be a young, independent and creative brand. We grew quite fast and had made tremendous traction in just 4 seasons. Now, the industry is completely different – the old standbys are closing, one door at a time in North America and retail is undergoing a tremendous shift, without even touching upon the results of closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The challenge now is not only to stand out, but to have crystal clear branding. One also must have the resources to weather the storm, for as long as it lasts. I believe, do this – and you will find your tribe. And, they will respect you more, for it.

 How do you want to achieve the long-lasting concept for your brand?

I have a clear agenda, that is I believe, echoed through consistent branding, while pushing the boundaries. Have I made different artistic choices over the past few seasons? Yes. Has the branding remained consistent, despite these changes? I believe so.

The collection’s textiles remain luxurious, silhouettes remain classic. I have no interest in designing a winter car coat every season – I prefer instead to design the “perfect winter car coat.” The one you reach for year after year, executed with timelessness and sustainability, first and foremost, in mind.

Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Eddie Nehani | Model: Daniela Lombardi

How do you determine what is durable design?

Durable design involves classic, proven silhouettes. A designer must know their history and have an intimate knowledge of both the subject and the subjects’ needs. This knowledge will enable designers to create garments that clients reach for, year after year – meeting the clients’ needs, in addition to our shared sustainable agenda.

What happens to that part of a production that does not get sold?

Timeless designs mean that trends are of little concern – allowing for the continued sales of garments season after season. LISA AVIVA prefers for clients to purchase garments at their leisure. As well, there may be an occasional sale – but we will see…

As well, very small quantities are produced at this time. Production numbers may always be increased, but it is preferable to avoid overproduction. 

Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Eddie Nehani | Model: Daniela Lombardi

How far do you go in terms of sustainability?

Sustainability is considered at each and every stage of the business, from sourcing through shipping. Travel and carbon emissions have been reduced with domestic sourcing. Textiles have become increasingly green, season after season – including the expansion of the Hand Knits collection. Hand Knits are custom orders, which require only samples and no stock – which cuts down on possible overstock, as well as costs. This also allows for minimal waste, as compared to Cut & Sew collections which generally produce a larger amount of waste, regardless of how carefully patterns are cut.

Production numbers are exclusive, marketing is carried out primarily through digital resources – though our postcards are coveted. When items are printed, they are on FSC paper or recycled paper. Print quantities are also exclusive and any print waste is always recycled.

Lastly, our shipping boxes and labels are made of recycled materials, and when internal shipping is done – we always use recycled boxes and encourage our contractors to do the same! I would like to move towards compostable packaging in the future, but prefer to utilize the recycled boxes currently in stock, before incurring further costs.

Where could you serve as a role model for others?

I have been producing domestically, since 2005 – when manufacturing in the USA had largely moved overseas. I have also been utilizing deadstock fabrics, since the same time. I believe in committing to one’s values, an essential part of the sustainable fashion movement. I hope that my dedication will continue to inspire others, as times are somewhat dire for the industry.

Autumn/Winter 20/21 Collection

The arrival of a new decade. Tumultuous and loud. Turmoil engulfs the world within the first few days. A sombre time.

How different are the times, than those of the last century? The end of WWI brought a time of reckoning and a time of rebuilding. A period of transition, much like our current times. One need only consult an astrologer, to discover that astrological events this year have set off past chains of events, that changed our world forever.

Sustainability is increasingly urgent. Natural fibres are employed
and hand processes honour the work of artists. There is much work
to be done, evident in the multilayered hand felting of Canadian Artist, Natalia Lunata. Organic raw materials, fleece straight from the sheep – the unwashed scent of the barn. Ultrasoft blends of Merino Wool and Baby Alpaca handknit, transform raw fleece into luxurious, body-conscious knits.

Inspired by the Group of Seven, Lawren Harris’ “Mount Robson” Canadian winters are communicated through line, colour, shape. Arctic Ocean, Northern Skies, Rocky Mountain – colours that create vivid imagery.

The Ice is palpable. The sky is thick and blue.

– LISA AVIVA

Monolithic structures are animated by the outspoken women of the early 20th century. Depicted in intimate portraits by French painter, Suzanne Valadon – women tell their own stories, speak their own truths. Unwilling to stand in silence, these women reflect our time and like Madame Valadon, refuse to be silenced.

We pay homage to all those who have come before. And now, we “wear the pants.”

The photoshoot images are tributes to the French painter, Suzanne Valadon. She made history, as a model first for many of the male painters in the late 19th century, and later as a painter in her own right. Most importantly, Suzanne depicted women from a woman’s perspective. 

Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Walter Singh | Model: Sarah DeMelo | Hair + Makeup: Jackie Shawn | Photographer’s Assistant: Eddie Nehani | Styling: Joelle Litt | Styling Assistant: Brit Wacher | Jewelry by: Michelle Ross
Photography: Walter Singh | Model: Sarah DeMelo | Hair + Makeup: Jackie Shawn | Photographer’s Assistant: Eddie Nehani | Styling: Joelle Litt | Styling Assistant: Brit Wacher | Jewelry by: Michelle Ross
Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Walter Singh | Model: Sarah DeMelo | Hair + Makeup: Jackie Shawn | Photographer’s Assistant: Eddie Nehani | Styling: Joelle Litt | Styling Assistant: Brit Wacher | Jewelry by: Michelle Ross
Creative + Art Direction: Lisa A. Bleviss | Photography: Walter Singh | Model: Sarah DeMelo | Hair + Makeup: Jackie Shawn | Photographer’s Assistant: Eddie Nehani | Styling: Joelle Litt | Styling Assistant: Brit Wacher | Jewelry by: Michelle Ross
Photography: Walter Singh | Model: Sarah DeMelo | Hair + Makeup: Jackie Shawn | Photographer’s Assistant: Eddie Nehani | Styling: Joelle Litt | Styling Assistant: Brit Wacher | Jewelry by: Michelle Ross

LUXURY YOU CAN LIVE IN.

SUSTAINABLE LUXURY CLOTHING FOR WOMEN SIZES 10+