Fashion (Canada) - - Style News - —I.B.S.

Stephanie Ray was a law stu­dent com­pet­ing for in­tern­ships when she re­al­ized she might not be meant for the pro­fes­sion’s con­ser­va­tive wardrobe. “I would in­ter­view and be hold­ing my jacket and put it on at the very last sec­ond be­cause I didn’t feel good in it,” she says. De­spite hav­ing zero de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence, Ray seized upon her need for fresher, more ver­sa­tile pieces and Grayes was born. She moved back to Toronto af­ter law school and be­gan gath­er­ing the in­for­ma­tion and ex­per­tise re­quired to start her own fash­ion line. “It was def­i­nitely a risk, but I knew it was the right de­ci­sion,” she says. Grayes was formed in 2016 with a few ba­sic wardrobe sta­ples, like ta­pered pen­cil pants and the sharply tai­lored blazer dress, of­fered only in black. This year she has branched fur­ther into pat­terns and tex­tures, adding neu­tral plaids, greys, lace and even cam­ou­flage to the clas­sic pin­stripes the brand in­tro­duced shortly af­ter launch­ing. The pieces are still con­ser­va­tive—skirt hem­lines are gen­er­ous, and jack­ets of­fer plenty of cov­er­age—but they have a dis­tinctly youth­ful and sharper feel than the tra­di­tional Clin­ton-es­que pantsuits of yore. The high­est com­pli­ment Ray re­ceives is when women tell her they wear their Grayes work­wear pieces off duty. It turns out that a wardrobe sta­ple is just that, no mat­ter what day of the week it is.

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