Cool, contemporary and classic best describe Franco Mirabelli, the dark horse of Canadian fashion, who, since 1984, has helped women embrace understated elegance. His design philosophy has worked for Mirabelli’s budding empire — three Toronto stores and a booming wholesale business that spans the continent. Not bad for a guy who started out in his parents’ basement before studying in New York and cuttinghis teeth — and cloth — for such iconic American labels as Anne Klein and Donna Karan.
His low-key approach to fashion makes him accessible, but it’s also how the man himself likes to dress. “I don’t wear anything that’s over-designed or screams designer,” he says. “When it comes to suiting, it’s skinny and it’s either black or charcoal grey with a dark shirt. I take a laissez-faire approach. I like feeling casual even when I’m dressed up.” Cool, indeed.