A local success story from Ontario, Mary Young, CEO & Designer at MARY YOUNG, is making a statement with her lifestyle and lingerie line. After starring in our latest ad campaign (Finances with benefits, y’all), Mary sat down with us to answer a few questions on her #girlboss style.
Mary: My company is a women’s lifestyle lingerie and loungewear clothing line that focuses on encouraging women to embrace their natural shape to feel comfortable, confident and in turn, sexy. Every garment is designed and made in Canada using extremely soft jerseys and elastics to ensure the most comfortable wear.
Mary: Honestly, I fell into this journey and never once had a plan for where I am now. I produced a double thesis in my fourth year at Ryerson University, half of it being a lingerie and loungewear collection.
Mary: I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I never knew what that would look like. After having many women ask me when and where they could buy my designs, I spent a few months researching the industry and market. When I realized there was space for a lifestyle line I knew this would be my first venture, so it only made sense to launch the brand shortly after graduating.
Mary: I would love to see lingerie evolve from being designed with a woman's partner in mind but rather her in mind.
Mary: Currently there are two categories of undergarments; lingerie and underwear. Lingerie is designed to be shown to partners, to reshape and contort a woman’s body into what society defines as sexy, whereas underwear is often in neutral colours, designed for everyday wear that is more practical and that is often not worn for a partner.
Mary: I would love to see these two categories blend together to offer women a variety of undergarments that allow her to feel sexy and confident, empowering her to wear them for herself but also feel confident to wear them for her partner.
Mary: My design process never truly starts or stops, it's constantly happening. I'm always people watching, noting what women are wearing and how they move in their clothes. If someone is always adjusting or fidgeting with their garments they don't feel comfortable, so I take that into consideration when designing, making sure the garments fit comfortably and work in a woman’s life effortlessly.
Mary: I also find a lot of inspiration from social media, I'm always taking screenshots of textures, colours, designs and garments to use as reference when I'm designing. I think it's important to always be aware of design in all forms, to gather inspiration at all times.
Mary: My favourite spots in Toronto would have to be Tokyo Smoke for a matcha latte, The Smith for brunch, Bohmer for lobster, Sweet Olenkas for gluten free ice cream and the island for a fun city escape.
Mary: The biggest lesson I've learned is that finances are terrifying but so important to know, especially to know in and out. Creating is a beautiful thing but if you want to make it your living, you need to know how to make money from it and understanding that your work has value is the first step.