Birds of North America is a Canadian line of clothing founded in 2007 by designer Hayley Gibson.
Birds began in a tiny live/work studio in Victoria, BC, in 2007 before Hayley and her partner, Neil, moved to Montreal in 2008 in order to have better access to suppliers and clothing manufacturing. They connected with an incredible team of cutters and sewers in the historic garment district of Chabanel with whom they continue to work to this day. Since the brand’s inception, every item of Birds' clothing has been proudly and ethically made in Canada.
In 2015, the Birds studio moved to the Junction Triangle in Toronto where all of the design, pattern making, grading, marker making and stock processing takes place. Their original team in Montreal still cuts and sews all of their clothing.
Many of Birds' retail accounts across Canada have been with the brand for more than a decade, promoting independent designers who produce ‘Made in Canada’ clothing like theirs.
The use of high quality materials and methods of construction, the flattering cuts and unique vision of Birds has fostered a community of loyal followers. The collection is available in a size range of 2-18, and customers often remark that the clothing fits in a way they’re not used to, like it was thoughtfully fitted to their bodies. "I’ve always designed for myself and for other regular women like me, not for an aspirational future self,” explains Hayley. “I want anyone who comes into our store to feel comfortable and welcome, like the clothes we make are for them, and that it’s OK to wear something bold and to stand out in your everyday life.”
Customers are often drawn to Birds of North America’s use of bold, colourful prints and colours, even when they don’t consider themselves to be fashion risk-takers. “A lot of our customers don’t necessarily identify as adventurous dressers and often haven’t found anything that speaks to them in the way that Birds does,” Hayley says, “As a result, we often see something awaken in people when they discover Birds for the first time, a recognition of a part of themselves in the clothes. Their personal style becomes a part of their identity in a way they hadn’t been able to integrate before discovering us.”
Birds of North America’s first retail location, and flagship store, opened at 1114 Queen Street West in Toronto’s vibrant West Queen West neighbourhood on August 15th, 2018.
About the designer:
Hayley was born and raised in Victoria, BC, on the West Coast of Canada. She developed an interest in sewing as a child and gradually progressed from small hand-sewn projects to disassembling and reconstructing vintage clothing. She graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Fashion Design program in 2002. Hayley spent several years working in custom tailoring, first as an apprentice, and later under her own label before starting Birds of North America in 2007.
Hayley and her partner, Neil MacCormick, have shared a studio since they met in 2006. Neil works as an artist but squeezes the graphic design and photography for Birds into any spare moments in his days.