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On The Blog: Get To Know Emma

On The Blog: Get To Know Emma

I met Emma during my first week of university and we quickly became attached at the hip. Emma is one of the kindest, most selfless people I know and I’m so lucky to call her one of my best friends. On a sunny Monday in Brooklyn, we styled some looks in Emma’s Williamsburg apartment, made a quick pit stop for lox bagels, and headed to DUMBO to shoot our new pieces. Emma (as always) was effortless and a true pro. We’ve been talking about shooting for years and we’re so grateful to have finally worked with her!

What do your friends call you? 

Em, Emmy, Emmer 

Emma in the Sorrento Set in Black

Tell us about where you grew up and about moving to NYC. 

I grew up about 30 mins outside Calgary, Canada. It was very rural and very wholesome - think prairie, farms and horses 🌾🐄🐴. I got scouted at the mall when I was around 13 years old, and even though I wanted to jump into the industry ASAP, my parents wanted me to finish my education before modelling. After moving to Toronto and attending college for a year, I was offered a contract with Elite NYC, packed my bags and moved to New York!

Emma in the Augusta Top and Sorrento Button-Up

You’ve been modelling since you were *young*, how has the industry changed, and would you say it’s improving for the best?

The industry has changed a lot since I started, and almost all for the better. Even in my past 10 years of modelling, I’ve seen the industry start to embrace people of all backgrounds, ages and sizes. Social media has been a huge agent for change in this; giving models, consumers, and underrepresented people a voice they never had before. That being said - I think the industry still has a long way to go. I think incorporating a more sustainable way of consumption is going to be the biggest challenge in the industry over the next few years. 

 Emma in the Marlo Jumpsuit

If you could move anywhere on the planet, where would it be?

If I could move anywhere, it would have to be to a beach. I spent 6 years of my childhood living by the beach on the island of Bermuda, and I would love to one day have that lifestyle again. Which beach— I’m not sure yet. 

Emma in the Black Sorrento Set

You and your new hubby have a place in the Hudson Valley of NY. How have you welcomed this change in your life and can you see yourself permanently relocating there? 

After living in NYC for the past 7 years, it has been a welcome change to be able to embrace nature every day. One of the of the biggest changes I notice is how quiet it is in the country. I didn’t even realize how loud New York was until I got out! Upstate New York is such a special place, it has all the amazing creativity, food, and energy of NYC, while also feeling worlds away from the city. I’m not sure exactly what the future holds (there are no beaches upstate!) but for now I feel so lucky to call the beautiful Hudson Valley home. 

For those who don’t know, can you briefly describe the vibe Upstate?

Based on my experience living in the Hudson Valley, I would say the vibe is unmatched. The area we live is quite rural with farms, forests, and rolling hills. There are a ton of small farms and businesses around and there is a huge focus on organic produce, sustainable living and shopping local, which I love. The pace of living is a lot slower Upstate, which constantly reminds me to take a breath and just embrace the moment. 

Emma in the Sorrento Button-Up and Augusta Short

You have two very special men in your life, one being your rescue dog, Lil Red. What's Reds fav accessory and how did your life change when you adopted him? 

Lil Reds #1 favorite accessory is hats. (Well our favorite for him). He is the most chill dog ever, and we are so lucky he lets us dress him up like a doll. As long as he gets a treat he's happy. Adopting Lil Red was life changing for me in the sense that I now had to now be responsible for his well-being. He helps me to bring me outside of myself, and remind me of what’s important. Daily walks are a game changer. 

Song you’ll always play when it's your turn to DJ.

Currently, anything by LCD or the Talking Heads.  

Emma in the Almond Sorrento Set

We met during our first year of fashion school in Toronto and have been besties ever since. What made you decide to leave Ryerson and move to New York after the first year?

After our first year of college I was given the opportunity to start modelling full time in New York City, and it was an opportunity I quickly jumped at. Moving to NYC and signing with a major agency was a huge goal of mine. It was such a dream come true when it happened. Moving by myself from rural Canada, to Toronto, and then NYC was a big shock to the system, but as soon and I got here, I could tell it was the place I was meant to be. New York City has a special energy, and although it can be exhausting at times, there’s nothing like it. 

Emma in the Elwood Maxi

What’s your favourite Slate piece?

My favorite Slate piece is my Elwood Maxi! I swear I wore it almost every day this whole summer. It is just so easy to throw on and immediately look and feel cute and put together. I can’t wait to try more pieces! 

 

You can follow along Emma's journey: @emmasurmon. All images are taken by @bronsonwhytcross in Brooklyn, New York.

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On The Blog: Get To Know Amber

On The Blog: Get To Know Amber

When we stumbled across Amber's Instagram page, her effortless coastal vibe exactly embodied our vision for our golden hour shoot. Our photographer, Bronson, and Amber met on a windy day on the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia where they spent a few hours making magic in our linen essentials. We absolutely adore what they created and would love to work with Amber again soon!

 

What do your friends call you? 

My friends call me ambs, but my sister calls me bambi :) 

How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you?

I make a conscious effort to be healthy and live as sustainably as possible. I may seem like an extrovert, but I'm actually quite introverted and love quiet time. But, I also think its important to keep a balance, so I love an adventure and a party here and there, I make a delish vegan lasagne :) 

 Amber in our 100% linen clothing that is ethically made in Vancouver, BC.

Top 3 spots to hit on the surf coast?

Last One In - the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail overlooking the Anglesea river and they have live music every weekend! 

Grow is a slow food cafe that is also in Anglesea. They have heaaaaps of yummy vegan options (and its puppy friendly!) 

Ocean Grind has the best coffee on the Surf Coast! 

Fave shops in on the Surf Coast?

From Around Here is a space for local artists to share and sell their work. I think it's so important to be able to buy from locally made products and support the creative industry. It's really inspiring!  

 Australian model on the beach in Victoria in our linen clothes shooting our latest fashion campaign.

3 hobbies - go!

Surfing, reading, cooking.

Tell us about your style.

I love wearing bright colours at the moment, but i also love to wear clothes that are unbranded! A little city a little surf hehe.

 Shooting our fashion campaign on the beach in Australia. Amber wears our brown maxi dress and our tie-up top and white drawstring pants. All constructed from 100% linen in Vancouver, BC.

What are your favourite Aussie brands?

Mimi Holvest, Sister Studios, Permanent Vacation, Vege Threads.

 Songs on repeat?

Susanne - Leonard CohenUnholy Faces - FlorestIf You Call - Angie Mcmahon

 Australian model posing in our natural linen Mallee romper and brown Elwood Maxi dress on the beach in Torquay, Australia at golden hour.

Destination at the top of your travel list and why?

Mexico - for waves and good food. 

Tell us about a typical day off.

 If there’s no waves around I’ll go on a big walk and listen to a podcast. After my morning activity hit I need my daily caffeine hit, so I'll go and grab coffee with friends. Afterwards I'll go to my sisters place and cook a wholesome meal and hang out with her beautiful little family. I also love alone time, so I'll finish the day by reading a book or doing something creative. 

 Wearing our Talia Set which is a white tie-up top and drawstring pant on the beach in Australia. Shot by our photographer at golden hour for our 100% linen sets and separates small brand that is made in Vancouver, BC.

Favourite cocktail?

Oo this is a hard one! Lately I’ve been on the margi train, I tried a coconut margarita and honestly it has my heart! 

Favourite Slate piece?

The Talia Tank!

 

Thanks for letting us get to know you Amber! You can follow Amber on her Instagram page, @amberauffray.
All images shot by @bronsonwhytcross.

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On The Blog: Get To Know Akech

On The Blog: Get To Know Akech

I had the pleasure of meeting Akech at my very first fashion show in November 2018. Fate brought us together when I was looking for one more model to walk the runway and the organizers introduced me to Akech - a beautiful, bubbly soul with an infectious smile and warm personality (who by the way stole the show in the Eden Set). After Slate's launch in August 2020 I knew I had to work with her again and I'm so happy we were able to! Akech is one of the most down to earth, easy going, and lovely humans that I have had the pleasure of working with.

What do your friends call you?

My friends call me Akech, kechy! 

Tell us a bit about yourself? 

I am a South Sudanese, East African! I was born in Sudan and when I was about five months old, my family moved to Kenya, where we lived for the majority of my childhood. At thirteen, my family immigrated to Canada. We first lived in Alberta, Red Deer and Edmonton for my Junior high years and then I finished high school in a small town called Brooks, south of Calgary! I moved to Vancouver in 2013 for college and a better life! 

Akech in Slate 

How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you?

This is a tough one. Well, I’m a people person. I genuinely enjoy people's company, meeting new people, and learning from different backgrounds and cultures! I’m very big on history, quite adventurous and a daredevil, I blame the Sagittarius in me!

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day is waking up at 4 AM, going for a run, yoga, or playing tennis! Read, eat breakfast, walk the seawall to wherever I need to be. I love the ocean, so I never skip my seawall walks!

Akech in the Talia Set

When did you get into modelling and how did it happen?

Growing up, my family and friends would call me “Model” and because of my height, people always assumed I was a model. I was actually against it - I would correct them and say "no, I’m an actor," simply because that was something I was more passionate about. As time passed, I started getting hired for small jobs and got a consistent gig from the film school make up department. They hired me for their demos for the makeup students and I would get paid (fifty bucks)! That was my first payed gig! I started charging people so I could pay for my acting classes. I did that for about six years - fast forward to August 2020 when I shot with a local beauty photographer, Kate Whyte, and from there I signed with my first, current model agency.

Akech in Mocha Slate

You had such positive energy on our shoot, how do you stay happy, confident and comfortable when you're working with different brands and people?

When I go to shoots I’m just happy to socialize and create. It’s a learning opportunity for me and being around creatives makes me happy. It literally fuels me, the conversations, looking at things from a different perspective, the collaboration, and the magic that we all get the opportunity to create, which is something I look forward to! It's my drive and inspiration! It's what keeps me motivated in my day-to-day life! 

We worked together in both of our first fashion show! What was it like walking on the runway for the first time in Slate? 

I was so nervous, swinging my entire body, I didn’t know how many people were out there until I hit the stage! The cameras were flashing, the lights were on and too much attention was now on me. I literally sprinted through the runway just so I could go backstage! I was proud of myself for doing something out of my comfort zone. I felt confident and elevated. It was an honour to wear Slate and more so working with you (Shelby) for my first runway experience! You were very supportive!

Akech Little Black Dress Gala 2018

What’s one thing you wish you could change about the world and why?

There are many things I would love to change about the world. One thing for certain is to have a universal passport, where we can all freely move around living wherever we wish! Learn from one another! I believe this would be very beneficial as it would help us grow to our biggest potentials and be more connected as a human race. I also think this would put an end to the economic gap that a lot of people face in the world and as a society we would care more about the environment and be more considerate obtaining sustainability because we’re all benefiting!

Your dream job and why?

My dream jobs are running and acting. I love running, it has helped me centre myself. I've felt a lot of healing from it and the whole idea of moving forward is my motto. Acting is also pretty cool. I get to be a different character and the inner child in me likes to play - I have a big imagination and love storytelling!

Akech in the mocha talia set

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I’m still working on this, but anywhere oceanfront. Ideally I would like to live on a private island just me and horses - a farm island!

A piece of clothing you can’t live without?

Anything comfortable and easy on the skin. I love shorts and tights! Definitely linen is a top tier fabric!

Akech Slate Shoot

What’s your favourite Slate piece?

It’s so tough to choose just one piece from Slate because everything is so amazing, beautiful, comfortable, and reversible! I love the Ballina Set, the black is so classy and you can literally wear it just about anywhere and it would fit whatever event you’re attending! In my womanhood that is just the style I am looking for. 

You can follow along for all things Akech on her Instagram page, @akechyak.

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On the Blog: Get To Know Hannah

On the Blog: Get To Know Hannah
Hannah quite literally brought the sunshine to our shoot. We instantly were in awe of her adorable banter, warm personality and capability to be unapologetically herself. Her big, natural curls bounced around the studio as she effortlessly jumped pose to pose in our linen sets & separates. Continue reading