This year, we’re running our pop-up, The Edit, in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. “We’re so excited to be popping up this summer in our hometown of Niagara On the Lake! We’ve curated some of our favorite brands at a local and national level. Think of the edit as your chic general store. From fresh bouquets to chocolate cupcakes to the newest in fashion, beauty, and home we have something for the locals and tourists alike!” says Editor-in-Chief of STYLE Canada, Elise Gasbarrino.
The Edit will feature goods from local businesses as well as other Canadian vendors. Our The Edit: Behind the Brands series will take a deeper look at the founders of our participating vendors and their stories. This article features Avery Swim with
Michelle Chen; Founder of Avery Swimwear
SC: Tell us about yourself!
MC: I’m Michelle and I founded Avery in the summer of 2021. Coming from a fashion design background, starting my own fashion line has been a longtime dream of mine. Having worked with many independent designers in the past, seeing my own designs come to life has been the most rewarding part of all of this.
I’m most drawn to creating something that lets women feel their most confident and beautiful. With swimwear, I’ve always felt it was the most empowering article of clothing a woman can wear. For this reason, I decided to create my own – to empower others and to empower myself.
SC: Tell us the story behind your brand!
MC: The inspiration behind Avery came during the first summer of the pandemic when we had nothing but time to ourselves. It was during this time that I finally got to work on something that felt like a far-off dream for so long. Having been petite-sized my whole life, I noticed how difficult it was to find a bikini that flatter smaller chests like my own. This began a beautiful summer of laying out the vision for Avery.
The line was created on the premise that small chests can be just as sexy while staying size-inclusive for women everywhere. The designs are minimalistic but they come with an edge. This was something that I knew I wanted for the brand – it would be soft and feminine with its pastel colour palette yet have a boldness to them. This was to speak to how we are as women; we all love to look and feel sexy yet strong and powerful in what we wear.
SC: What inspires you?
MC: I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from my travels. I love to travel more than anything in the world and to explore new towns. During the pandemic when we couldn’t travel much, my safe haven became exploring neighbouring beaches. Because of this, one half of the collection was inspired by the mesmerizing colours of sunset you only witness at the beach and the other was inspired by New York City – my favourite city.
The colours of Avery are very special because they’re ultimately a reminder of happiness – which oftentimes happens during the fleeting months of summer. I’ll never forget summers in the big city or the way the sky looks when it’s just about to set. I’m most inspired by the way we feel during these times.
SC: What does 2022 hold for you?
MC: This has been such an exciting year for Avery so far. We got to showcase our collection for the first time in person earlier this year and we have a couple more shows coming up in the fall that we’re super excited for. 2022 signified a year of exploration for us – to introduce our brand to the world – and for things to slowly return to normal so we can do more in-person events.
The best part has been hearing all the positive feedback for our eco-friendly pieces but also finding out what we can do differently next time. After this, we can’t wait to start designing our next collection that can only be even better than the last.
SC: Where’s your favourite vacation spot?
MC: I do love a good beach vacation but if I had to choose, I’d say anywhere in Europe has my heart. Nothing beats the beautiful architecture, amazing fashion and art. To me, the best vacation is one where you’re left in awe of where you are and that’s exactly how I feel when I’m there. Let’s see where I end up next!
Find Avery Swimwear at our pop-up happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake, at 1-233 King Street! For more information, visit style.ca/events
Last modified: October 15, 2022