Talking leather with fashion designer Jaqueline Tong Talking leather with fashion designer Jaqueline Tong
Jacqueline Tong, a 21 year a fashion design student at Ryerson university, has recently showcased her final collection “JACQ”, in the 27th annual Max... Talking leather with fashion designer Jaqueline Tong

Jacqueline Tong, a 21 year a fashion design student at Ryerson university, has recently showcased her final collection “JACQ”, in the 27th annual Max Exodus Fashion show in Toronto.

Max Exodus is the world’s largest fashion event produced by students. Canadian fashion expert, Jeanne Beker, curated the April 1st evening show. Beker narrowed down her top 17 picks from the 60 collections that were showcased that evening.

In addition of being one of these picks, “JACQ” has also been listed as Flare Magazine’s best of Ryerson Mass Exodus top ten.

On the night of the show, the young fashion designer couldn’t resist sharing photos and her gratitude on her personal social media account.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for the top 17 curated industry show by Jeanne Beker for #MaxExodus2015. It’s been a busy but rewarding year and I’m amazed at the talented people that I’ve spent the last 4 years with in my program. “

Jacqueline Tong at Mass Exodus 2015

Jacqueline Tong at Mass Exodus 2015 PHOTO: Courtesy of Jacqueline Tong

We sat down with Tong before the show to talk about the making of her collection.

Did you always want to specialize in leather?


JACQ leather jacket details

No. Well in first year, I really was really into eveningwear and dresses.I was so sure I was going into eveningwear for my final collection and as years have gone, more projects have piled on. I was exposed to different things like jackets, cool coats, shirts and a mix of everything else. I then realized that I wanted to go a different path.

Why leather?

In third year when I made a leather jacket for Danier, that was what made me decide to go into leather for sure.

Leather has a completely different production process. It has a lot more work – the pattern drafting and designing is different because you have to think about the weight of the leather.

Where did you learn to work with leather?

My internship at Sony Fong! My internship with Sony Fond completely changed me and because of him I wouldn’t know certain leather finishes and I basically got my work aesthetics from him.

He takes on projects for different things. He has participated in Toronto’s Fashion week and he was the season two winner of Canada’s Project Runway.

We did a lot of mixed material and beading. There were a lot of leather accessories. He taught me how to glue seams down and different ways to press leather, like ironing. There I worked with fur and little tricks to have a clean-cut finish.

When did you start thinking about your final collection?

I started thinking about it during the summer of 2014. I had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong and I got most of my leather there. I didn’t have designs yet but I had the idea of I wanted to do.

I had the colour scheme so I knew what I wanted to buy. When I went to the leather shop. I wanted to pick out leather that nobody in Toronto would have.
I got nothing plain there – I got crocodile pressed leather and other 3D textures.

What inspired the theme or look of this collection?

Nautical X-Rays! It sort of resembles a sea creatures skeletons – based on the patterns and symmetrical and asymmetrical details.  And Alexander Wang for it’s relatable edginess and Balmain for textures.

How would you describe your target shopper?

A woman who is edgy but not mainstream. She wants something different, yet comfortable. She’s a customer that wants a statement jacket. I steered away from making a motorcycle jacket.


Homemade leather price tags made by  Jacqueline Tong

Could you describe the pieces that will be featured in the show?

Yeah, I’ll have five leather jackets; three Ponte dresses all knit with leather, two leather bralettes with lace detailing and two skirts.

I also made leather goods like laptop cases for fun


JACQ leather bralettes made with lace detailing

Alyssa Tria