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Vendor Spotlight: MIZDRAGONFLY & SUR MOI

Written by Astrid Superstar 

With their finger resting firmly on the pulse of Toronto fashion, it is only natural that Fashion Art Toronto would begin their Fashion & Beauty Retail Boutique. The foundation of FAT from the beginning has been to platform local designers and brands, with this newest addition to their arsenal having never been more true to the cause. 

Shoppers at the Fashion & Beauty Retail Boutique at Black Creek Assembly, Spring 2023.

Photo by Jessica Byrne.

The shopping experience will be held in the Fashion Playground space, right alongside the interactive exhibits and general ambiance that makes a Fashion Art Toronto showcase so unique. This time, over 20 Canadian artisans and brands will be featured in an open retail environment where guests are free to peruse and shop between blocks of runway shows. Patrons can browse from a variety of clothing, jewelry, accessory and beauty brands, featuring everything from expertly crafted comfort-wear to more luxurious statement pieces - perhaps finding their new staple accessory or signature fragrance along the way. 

This will be the second on-season boutique experience for Retail Manager Haley Benoit, who has managed shop FAT Shop pop-ups at the Artist Project and retail-themed events in partnership with Tricon Residential at their Taylor and Selby locations. “Fashion Art Toronto is such a wonderful opportunity for networking and I really love watching everyone come together to celebrate fashion and art from all walks of the earth,” she explains. “Over the years as an attendee - and now as the Retail Manager - you get to see a lot of those friendships blossom and grow.”

Another proud moment for Benoit is being able to develop talent within the volunteer pool and watch them grow while working at the shop. “Last year,” she says, “one of my volunteers left such an impression on one of our vendors that she got hired after fashion week and will be returning as her employee this year.” 

The entrance to the Fashion & Beauty Retail Boutique, Spring 2023. 

Photography by Alex Lam.

This season, Fashion Art Toronto is focusing on highlighting a selection of Black owned businesses in the pop-up in partnership with The Boutique Pop Up. “Last year was such a success that we have decided to add an additional 400 square feet of retail space that will feature a secondary pop-up experience showcasing Black owned designers and businesses,” says Benoit. “In doing so, we are able to elevate the Fashion Playground experience for our guests and offer a wide range of beauty products, accessories, fashion and art.”

Both MizDragonfly jewelry and Sur Moi perfume oils will both be participating in the Fashion & Beauty Retail Boutique this season, fleshing the market out to beyond clothing. For further reading, an article about our collaboration with Black-owned clothing labels for the Boutique Pop Up booth will be released later this week. 


Jewelry designer and maximalism devotee Karine Eyamie launched her label MizDragonfly in 2006, at a time before the iPhone had hit the market and when Pluto was still considered a planet. In the 17 years since, Eyamie has perfected the art of the statement piece. “My goal as a designer,” Eyamie expresses, “is to create jewelry and accessories for fabulous people to bring themselves to life.”

Left: MizDragonfly's booth at the Fashion & Beauty Retail Boutique, Spring '23. Photo by Jessica Byrne.

Right: A closeup of a MizDragonfly booth. Image sourced from Instagram.

If you can wear it, MizDragonFly makes it, and then some - boasting an extensive amalgam of accessories from earrings to hats, sunglasses to bags, even branching as far out as home decor. A true master of bling-ification, her website boasts an impressive creative range - featuring a line of trinket trays, pillows and fleece throws inspired by the Major Arcana and our solar system, or emblazoned with blown up images of crystals and New York City landmarks. She has dabbled in garment design as well - feathers, metallics, fishnets and furs conjuring an air of allure and sophistication to her pieces. 

“Our limited edition Jewelry Collections emerge from the resurrection of opulent vintage treasures revitalized into new objects of desire,” Eyamie explains on her website, elaborating that her collections “take life from the discoveries made spending countless hours perusing the universe to find unique vintage jewelry pieces, beads, chains, coins, etc. - giving each creation its distinctive touch. Our favorite vintage treasures include; intricately ornated high quality like-new vintage jewelry bits & pieces in need of tender loving care, geometric beads in limited runs, and sparkling Swarovski crystals.”

While Eyamie may primarily work with found pieces, anything touching your skin will be new. “Base materials are chosen for their durability and affordability such as 24k gold-plated brass, ebony wood, and Lucite beads - for their hypoallergenic and tarnish-free properties giving our jewelry a long-lasting look and feel.”

Her interest in combining aesthetics came about at a young age, while flipping through her mothers’ copies of the French home decor publication Chez Soi. After immersing herself in these magazines, she credits them as her teacher and mentor for basic design principles and the utilization of shapes and shade to create a cohesive visual harmony. “Browsing through the pages inspired me, and was a foundation to how I approach aesthetics. How to use accent colours, paint, decorations… This magazine has been the catalyst for me to open my mind, be creative, to have a sense and perspective of what works together.” 

Left: Model Enya wears jewelry by MizDragonfly. Shot by Carlos and Alyse, sourced from Instagram.

Right: Model Sarah wears jewelry by Mizdragonfly. Shot by Lynne Moyer as a part of Fashion Forward Meetups. Sourced from Instagram.

Skilled with a keen sense of technical precision, Eyamie offers perspective into her creative process. “Making jewelry is like making a puzzle,” she explains, a palpable sense of elated determination in her voice. “Pieces have got to fit together. When you understand what goes together - symmetry, colour, complementary shapes and forms - is when you can assemble and truly create a unique piece.” 

A strong advocate for embracing one’s personal style, Eyamie agrees that her pieces are not just a statement themselves, but are often brought to life by the idiosyncrasies of personal preference. She continues to find inspiration in how other’s minds work, and feels as though her jewelry can be a conduit for conveying and personifying individual tastes.

“You can give the same three pieces to someone and they will all assemble them differently,” she muses. “We all have a different perception on what works together and what doesn't.” 

Already a secret weapon of many high-profile Toronto creatives, Eyamie’s jewelry is featured in dozens of editorials, her jewelry expertly styled with garments in publications such as Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair. But Eyamie’s interest in creating accessories goes beyond the glitz and glam and hits home in the soul. “It's not just creating pieces to make an impact in a magazine,” she says, “but also to create an impact in people's lives.”


Founder Hayley Paone of Sur Moi notes that she “has poured (quite literally) her hands, heart and soul into her brand.” Describing herself as a “lifelong lover of fragrance and the nose behind it all”, scent has been an e-scent-ial part of her life. 

A gifted dancer, the natural-born artist grew up “taking something ordinary and breathing more life into it” in everything she did. For Paone, movement was the gateway drug that allowed her to unlock her intrinsic artistic expression, leading to discovering passion for painting, styling, photography, design and fashion. 

Left: The In My Feels collection, launching Nov. 14th. Right: The Hym collection, now available

Both shot by Hayley Paone, sourced from the Sur Moi Instagram page.

Currently, she works as a creative - an umbrella term for the numerous art forms that she has honed. Through creative direction, she collaborates with brands to create branded content “across digital platforms as well as providing artistic direction for both commercial and editorial projects. Hayley’s skills extend to styling, event ideation & planning and executing  on any scale.” To put it short - if it involves imaginative, inventive innovation, her name is all over it. 

Her background in dance lends credence to her current experimentation with perfumery. Quite poetically, she describes this connection as finding “a new way of storytelling and choreographing memories, experiences and feelings […] by transferring these emotions and formulating them into fragrances”. This vulnerable process is “therapeutic and healing” for Paone, who is constantly honing her craft by “continually studying the art of perfumery and the technical aspects that contribute to the success and integrity of every scent.” 

On her personal site, she speaks of this link between photography and dance with the same sort of transcendental zeal, noting that her “movement direction behind the lens is vital to her work”, and that she “uses photography as a continuation of dance, where she creates stillness, shapes and suspensions, infusing it with an emotion and intention similar to her work as a performer and choreographer.”

It’s quite inspiring to hear Paone talk about her work, and how passionate she is about perfume, an oft-overlooked art form. She believes whole-heartedly in creating distinctive scents that capture raw emotion and invoke a myriad of emotions and memories, with studies finding that scent is one of our five key senses (sight, sound, taste, smell and most closely linked to conjuring memories. 

A piece in The Scientific American’s “Everyday Einstein'' column on how scent and memory are intertwined, thanks to the neurons in our brain, explains this further. Author and astrophysicist Sabrina Stierwalt breaks down the phenomenon as follows: “Your olfactory bulb runs from your nose to the base of your brain and has direct connections to your amygdala (the area of the brain responsible for processing emotion) and to your hippocampus (an area linked to memory and cognition). Neuroscientists have suggested that this close physical connection between the regions of the brain linked to memory, emotion, and our sense of smell may explain why our brain learns to associate smells with certain emotional memories.”

Left: Clean, sleek packaging for perfume oil sample sizes. Right: Incense sticks fragranced with Sur Moi scents, in denim packaging designed by Paone and assembled by The Underline.

As for how Sur Moi perfumes are physically created, Paone recognizes the benefits of using natural ingredients, as well as safe synthetics in some instances where a specific smell cannot be naturally replicated, or when the harvest of such ingredients may have a negative impact. “We vibe with botanical ingredients for the integrity and depth they add to our fragrances, however we use and appreciate synthetic ingredients as well because they offer broader possibilities. This provides our wearers with fragrances that are more distinctive. In order for us to maintain sustainability, we may choose to use natural - identical synthetics as many natural ingredients are at risk of becoming over harvested and endangered.” 

The brand is proudly cruelty-free and vegan, sourcing the highest quality, toxin-free ingredients for their products. As well as for being ethically responsible, Sur Moi fragrances are made to be layered and customized. She encourages consumers to create their own personalized scents with her buildable perfume oils. Fragrance can be very personal indeed, as every person wishes to evoke a certain mood or vibe in how they are perceived by others, and can bolster a confidence in how they carry themselves. 

“People will come and go, but the essence of them remains,” Paone muses. “We hope to bring you back or move you forward into a feeling you can't forget, or have yet to experience, while smelling incredible and authentic.” 

The Fashion Art Toronto Retail & Beauty Boutique runs at the Fashion Playground, the ambient space for Toronto’s largest fashion week, from November 16 to 19th at Black Creek Assembly. Over 20 Canadian artisans and brands will be available to shop from, with retailers of apparel, jewelry, accessories and beauty products. Hours vary by day, tickets and schedule are available now.


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