The story behind the brand
You may have been with us from the very beginning, or you may be new here! It’s been more than a year since we’ve posted a blog, and we figure the best place to start again is with an introduction to Ivory Sheep!
Ivory Sheep was started by myself (Mackenzie) and my boyfriend (now fiancé) of 11 years; Michael. The whole idea of Ivory Sheep was born when I went to my first Toronto Fashion Week in 2014 and I had the most gut-wrenching experience. I was decked out in a floor length, black lace Victorian vibe “For Love and Lemons” gown that was see through with the laciest of bras underneath (peep the gown below). I got there so excited, ready to be surrounded by what I thought would be my type of people, and the creativity I was dying to be in. Except, I got there, and I stood out like a sore thumb! Everyone was wearing the exact same outfits, it was extremely cliquey, and just incredibly awkward. I went into the first fashion show where the pieces coming down the runway were literal burlap sacks and everyone was oouing and awhing with the exact same reactions. This literally shattered me, I thought fashion was supposed to be something that was different for every one experiencing it. I expected my first fashion week to be full of self-expression, and individualistic thinking… instead it was straight up high-school vibes where everyone was trying to fit in.
I left the event absolutely devastated and panicked, it felt like everything I ever wanted was a lie. I let myself have a pity party on my way home while listening to my iPod. In the middle of my pity party the song “Black Sheep” by Gin Wigmore came on… and suddenly it all made sense. I had to create my own fashion environment, where people like myself can feel like they finally found a place where they belong. A place that’s genuine, no small talk, no fakeness, real opinions and real individuality. And just like that, the dream was born: A clothing store that is a movement, a place where you can kind extremely unique pieces, a place where you can have any type of style and still find a piece that suits you, a place that feels like home for the misfits.
Over the years I worked at any job I could get… which was always in retail. I attempted to go to university and college, only to drop out each time. And I did whatever I could to learn about absolutely anything that would help me in opening my own business.
Fast forward to 2018, at this point in time Michael and I had been dating since 2012. Both of us have been trying to get an education, and each of us dropping out every time. Michael has always had a passion for tech and programming. He tried various school programs, but none of them fitting him. He knew he wanted to open his own business, but wasn’t sure in what.
After years of having dated me, he knew my passion for clothing and that my dream was to open up a shop that reflected my personal closet. I’ve always dressed extremely bold, and I would either get showered with compliments in public, or nothing but glares of outrage. Michael started to notice that this store idea, was actually a really fun and cool one. And just like that he asked if it was something he could be apart of, and here we are!
The name Ivory Sheep actually comes from Michael. The shop was originally going to be called Black Sheep, but after online browsing we noticed how many other brands out there called themselves that. He said to me “in a world where everyone is calling themselves the black sheep, what would be the opposite?” And that is where the name came from!
Michael and I are extremely weird. We do everything in the most unconventional way, and feel like in every single thing we do, we are going against the grain.
We opened this business in the middle of the pandemic, and we actually had a physical location for a little bit! Our goal has always been to create a space that feels like home; a place where everyone can fit in. My style is a little bit of everything, and everyday I feel like I’m someone new. That’s why at Ivory Sheep you will usually find a little bit of everything!
We hope you feel like you find your place, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure it stays like that!
We'll be posting another blog next week about what Michael and I have been up to, because it feels like we may have lost our way a little bit... and we want to fill everyone in! Stay tuned lovies!!
This was my dress/vibe for fashion week! This look gives me goosebumps to this day! This is my fave lookbook ever, it's called Interview with a Vampire and it's from FLAL 2013