When Iro first opened up in Montreal, and on Sherbrooke St. West nonetheless, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a penchant for French fashion, especially the Parisian kind. Whenever I sift through the racks of Iro, or browse through the collection online, I feel transported to Paris Fashion Week… oh what a wonderful feeling!
Founded in 2005 by Arik and Laurent Bitton, the look and feel of the label is anchored in music and inspired by the world of architecture and design. The two young visionaries have taken the homegrown label international, and there is not a fashionista out there who doesn’t know about how cool and aesthetically edgy Iro is. Their clothes are accessible but in an inaccessible way (my favourite kind of clothes, lol!). Whether it’s the skinny jean or a motorcycle jacket, a stunning metallic dress or a plain ol’ white t-shirt, Iro puts their provocative spin on it as they effortlessly parlay ordinary into extraordinary.
When I put on my Loulou dress, I instantly fell in love. The dress is the simplest kind of sexy: nothing too revealing or slinky about it, just the perfect fit. The pleated skirt paired with the puffy sleeves give off a super feminine feel and then the ruching and metallic fibres give that grungy, rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Basically, me in a nutshell. The dress was the highlight of the season and got some serious speedway in the fashion world. What I love most about the Loulou is how it truly encapsulates the brand.
I’m always curious where brands draw inspiration for the names of their labels. I mean some are fairly straightforward as most designers name their brands eponymously. But Iro is peculiar, because it doesn’t mean anything in French. But, after a little bit of research, I found out that Iro means “light” in Japanese. As a portrait of Iro, I kind of love the symbolism of a fashion light bringing light to the fashion world with its collection. It’s a lifestyle brand that takes street style a cut above the usual, and with that, comes the idea that by shining a bit of light on each piece, a new breed of casual chic is born. Accessibly inaccessible. Love it.
Photography by Patricia Brochu