Calgary is a hub of burgeoning creativity, with a tenacious, entrepreneurial spirit. It’s infectious to anyone who spends time in our beautiful city. Among the many up-and-coming makers calling YYC home, three women stand out for the outstanding fashion design talent. In the first of our three-part series, we take a look at Jennifer Mehalko’s new super-cool streetwear line, Parts + Labor.
The Parts: self-expression through the cool, creative, tangible and material. The Labor: the self-development through the work, heart, movement, blood, sweat, and tears.
It’s a combination that’s a natural fit for Jennifer Mehalko, who, along with her multidisciplinary career in interior design and yoga, founded Parts + Labor in early 2017.
“…A piece of fabric you can put across your shoulders makes you stand a little taller or breathe a little deeper or feel more powerful or capable.”
Mehalko’s apparel line encapsulates her desire to create goods that go beyond being another item of clothing. They create a message of empowerment, choice, and expression.
“There is an emotional tie to that,” Mehalko says. “That a piece of fabric you can put across your shoulders makes you stand a little taller or breathe a little deeper or feel more powerful or capable.”
Two years ago, Mehalko launched her first collaboration collection with Junction 9 Yoga & Pilates. Spurred into action, Mehalko’s next project showcased 15 individual vintage jackets that she revamped.
“Moving from there into the Heart-Work collection,” Mehalko says. “That was really about putting in the time, trusting your heart and intuition and taking that leap of faith and trusting that if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.”
Mehalko’s collections are produced entirely in Calgary, with fabrics sourced from L.A. Her fall collection will also continue to weave in aspects of heart and intuition, as seen with Heart-Work.
“That is my vision. That the brand will always stand to be a message of positivity and giving people a gateway to greatness,” Mehalko says.
The new line will include more vintage pieces and a new jewelry line. Additionally, Parts + Labor will be appearing at the PARKLUXE market on September 30, where Mehalko will be launching a collection of leather goods.
Want another dose of local fashion? Check out how local PR professional Kyla Zeniuk wears her summer wardrobe.
By Sarah Comber