Behind every great fashion designer stands a style-savvy woman. She is a foundation of inspiration, a confidant, a collaborator and, in some cases, a close friend. She is that ethereal creature that artists throughout history have called upon to get their creative juices flowing–the muse.

We assembled four Canadian designers–Kim Mimran (Pink Tartan), Kirk Pickersgill and Steven Wong (Greta Constantine), Lucian Matis, and Paul Hardy–and the women who inspire them. See why the older woman is the ultimate muse.