Kimberley Newport-Mimran is resiliently peppy. While most working urbanites relish in the exhaustive state of “being busy,” for the Toronto-based designer it’s simply an unwanted symptom of doing things well. “I have to say I hate being this busy, but it’s all this amazing stuff,” Newport-Mimran exhales from her audibly bustling Toronto office. “I’m moving, I’ve got this new collection coming out, and I’m going to Hong Kong.”
Newport-Mimran’s perkiness is visible in her designs. The president and design director of Pink Tartan started the line with her own go-getter dilemma in mind: how to go from office to dinner without having to swap ensembles. “That’s why I built Pink Tartan,” she says. “It’s really [about] how you adapt to modern life.” Newport-Mimran’s solution to this problem is one part classic prep and one part inspired glamour, equalling a perfect reflection of the designer herself.
In fact, Pink Tartan leans on bringing a bit of Newport-Mimran’s personality into every season. Building on experience earned at The Bay and Club Monaco, Newport-Mimran made the leap into her own designs in 2002. Since then, she has remained true to herself in every way. From a collection designed around a favourite Netflix series (Marco Polo), to the Pink Tartan Toronto flagship inspired by her own home, Newport-Mimran is pointedly upfront about what inspires her.
Even in the design process, Newport-Mimran relies heavily on her own personal intuition. “I don’t design on paper—I’m more 3D,” she says. Each collection of sportswear, while usually exotically motivated, relies heavily on Newport-Mimran’s talent for tailoring. Keeping with a consistent itinerary of basics, Pink Tartan stays true providing solutions to Newport-Mimran’s original day-to-dinner predicament.
For Pink Tartan’s latest collection, which just showed at Toronto Fashion Week, Newport-Mimran was stimulated by a fabric she came across from a company located in the Mediterranean. “I started with just a fabric that I love, which was these cabana stripes you can see throughout the collection,” she says. “So building on these stripes I thought, ‘So, you’re away, but how can I interpret this for day and still be able to capture this amazing moment?’” The resulting Spring/Summer 2016 collection rings loudly of vacation, but also brings it home to the urban dweller with sporty mesh and leather layered in. It joins all of the reliable and unexpected elements that her loyal followers have come to depend on.