She established her fashion business in 2002 and has built quite the brand since. Kim Newport-Mimran, founder of Pink Tartan, spoke to a room full of enthusiastic fashion bloggers, photographers and designers at Fashion House during Toronto Fashion Week SS2020. The talk was part of a podcast by Fashion Talks where Kim outlined her journey, her newest brand launch (Kim Newport), and what she’s working on now.
Kim’s journey was full of highs and lows, as any entrepreneur could expect. Her first collection for Pink Tartan was made in Italy, however it soon became hard to market that price point to customers in Canada. She then moved her production to Canada, where her iconic shirt-making emerged. The brand started out working fully in wholesale fashion for its first ten years, without any brick and mortar location. She said that she would start a collection each time with around 200 pieces, but by the time it went to market to buyers, it got edited down quite a bit. She always thought something was missing in this process, so she then turned to retail directly to the end user. Now with a strong e-commerce presence, retail through Today’s Shopping Choice (TSC), a store in Yorkville Toronto, and an outlet in Niagara on the Lake, customers can buy Pink Tartan from a variety of avenues. And this fashion season we’ve been introduced to her newest label – Kim Newport.
As described in the press release, “The Kim Newport Collection is a modern girl’s guide to glamour, offering relevant, timeless pieces for life’s most special occasions”. Kim partnered with House of Beker on this venture, “which boasts a rich history in Canadian fashion, to bring her first foray in the eveningwear category to life”.
When Kim was asked about her relationship with fashion at the podcast, Kim replied “I’ve never lost the art of getting dressed. I do think it matters how you present yourself”. She believes that how we live our lives and how we feel are deeply linked to and affected by how we dress.
I have personally had the chance to model for Pink Tartan over the years when it appears on TSC, and what I love most about Kim’s style philosophy is how she designs her pieces to be worn with one’s existing wardrobe. Really, overall a more realistic approach for the average modern woman and one that better fits her lifestyle. Kim is also a big fan of collecting vintage pieces herself and incorporating them within her brand. She described to us how she enjoys putting a lifestyle assortment together, while mixing and matching her own pieces with those of other designers.
“I don’t want you to wear that piece once. I want you to treasure that piece and wear it in different ways.” This way of thinking is not only practical for her customers, it’s a business decision that’s smart. Showing women how they can seamlessly incorporate their Pink Tartan purchases with other brands is flat out brilliant marketing.
Credit: Photographs sourced from TWF