In honor of International Women’s Month (March) and Day (March 8th), there’s a much urgent need to highlight small women-led businesses that are skyrocketing in fashion, like Hilary MacMillan with her Varsity Collection (2021).
Based in Canada, Hillary MacMillan was founded in 2013 as an apparel brand catering to versatile contemporary pieces. With this latest collection, MacMillan gets bold in representing everyone who is, feels like, and support a woman, all women: “Feminist,” “Don’t Tell Me to Smile,” and “GRL PWR” are the statements chosen for the line written on each jacket’s back.
All-vegan jackets in deep lucid black: these are the new varsity items by MacMillan, but this kind of piece is not the first time debuting in the brand. MacMillan has showcased varsity jackets since 2017, always making sure to include empowerment messages for women from all over the world. This time, MacMillan introduced a collaboration with Canadian visual artist Sara Taddayon of Montreal’s Plum and Coco. Fitting to the brand’s core values, Taddayon created a tissue and sticker design depicting a powerful and positive message; “Empowered Womxn, Empower Womxn”. This will serve as bold and collaborative packaging for each Varsity item sold, making each of MacMillan’s direct-to-consumer orders feel included.
“The Varsity collection has been a part of the Hilary MacMillan DNA for the past few years,” states Hilary MacMillan, Designer of Hilary MacMillan. “As we evolve, I felt an innate desire to create a more contemporary approach to the traditional varsity jacket – while still drawing attention to the issues and topics women face, and those that I’m so incredibly passionate about.”
The history of varsity jackets goes back to 1865 with Harvard University. This item has embraced a major significance in the North American culture, symbolizing unity and community beyond academic settings.
The brand has also a program that provides a give-back kind of charity. In fact, 15% of proceeds from every sale of the Varsity Jacket Collection goes towards Toronto-based charities Up With Women and Black Women in Motion. In this way, Hilary MacMillan stays true to their message at the core, by being a great and stylish source to the fashion community.