Toronto’s Best Dressed: Heidi Sopinka and Claudia Dey

Toronto’s Best Dressed: Heidi Sopinka and Claudia Dey

The Horses Atelier designers—and BFFS—dish on their creative process

Heidi Sopinka and Claudia Dey Sopinka and Dey pose in their West Queen West studio. Sopinka wears a jacket and silk trousers by Horses Atelier, and vintage heels from Clarksburghers in Clarksburg, Ontario; Dey wears a white combination by Horses Atelier and shoes from Value Village (Photograph by Evaan Kheraj)
 

Like so many moments of divine inspiration, this one occurred under a sketchy bridge in Parkdale. Long-time BFFs Claudia Dey and Heidi Sopinka were taking their infants for a walk and discussing their mutual love of clothing design. “And right then and there, we thought, well, what if we did something together?” recalls Dey of that spring afternoon in 2012. They named the company—Horses Atelier—on the spot, a nod to both the majestic animal and the seminal Patti Smith album. In the three years since, they have put out six collections featuring flowing, romantic, wear-anywhere staples like flower-printed hippie dresses and silky kimonos. Dey says their collaborative design process is like playing tennis with someone who’s better than you, while Sopinka compares the experience to writing a story: “You close out the world, you explore your interest, and you come out with something to show everybody at the end.”

Their Stuff

Anti-Aging Oil
C. D.: “The woman who makes these oils in her Manhattan home has the nickname Angel Hands. Come on!” Vered face oil, $155. Veredbotanicals.com.
Pinch Hat
H. S.: “We love the timelessness and privacy of the fedora.” Clyde pinch hat, $390.
Fawn Boutique,
967 Queen St. W.,
647-344-4703.
Vintage Concert Shirts
C. D.: “They make us feel like Sid Vicious. We are never afraid of getting dirty.” $80–$300.
Public Butter, 1290 Queen
St. W., 416-535-4393.
Bodysuit
H. S.: “Beautifully sewn in cuts that flatter every shape.” Fortnight Lingerie bodysuit in black, $458.
Gravitypope, 1010 Queen St. W., 647-748-5155.

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