Lesley Hampton taps into Indigenous heritage for Toronto Fashion Week debut

Fashion designer Lesley Hampton

By Casandra Szklarski THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO- Emerging designer Lesley Hampton has woven fashion with activism ever since she launched her brand three years ago. That meant runway shows that championed body positivity, the importance of mental health and the value of diversity and inclusivity. But missing was a core part of her identity as an Indigenous designer, and she says that’s what takes centre stage with her debut at Toronto Fashion Week this week. “There was always this gap that I was questioning and this collection really let me dive into how being Indigenous influences my design and influences my creation of work,’’ Hampton says when reached at her Toronto studio as she attended to last-minute details for Wednesday’s show. “I grew up internationally and my mom was adopted…

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