Narces has been a favourite among local socialites looking to shine at galas and fundraisers since it launched its first collection of flirty gowns in 2012. It’s run by husband-and-wife duo Nikki Wirthensohn Yassemi and Stefan Wirthensohn, who met doing their MBAs at University of Toronto. Nikki’s the designer and creative director, while Stefan handles the business side of things. It’s a full family affair: Nikki’s mother, who also works at Narces, used to work with Victor Edelstein, the British tailor to the royal family, and helped construct Princess Diana’s iconic Travolta dress, which later sold at auction for over $350,000.
Nikki’s approach to design is boldly feminine: she loves to start with a sheer fabric like tulle or organza, and build layers of embellishments, whether it’s lots of intricate beading, rows of 3-D florals or giant structural bows. “I want people to wear what makes them happy,” she says. “I don’t believe in rules because fashion is art, and art doesn’t have rules.”