Breathe Couture

Breathe Couture Designs are collections of One of a Kind Clothing and accessories, with occasional Limited Edition items by Jennifer Koning. Most items are made from at least 50% recycled, re-purposed materials. Many pieces are constructed using vintage jewelry, fabrics, ribbons and laces, some dating from as far back as the late 1800s. Breathe Couture items are unique, wearable works of art.

Breathe Couture was one of 5 Canadian Etsy Jewelry and Accessory designers featured in Fashion Magazine Nov 30th 2010. They had a two page spread in Dujour Magazine featuring models Kirsten and Sarah wearing two of their handmade headbands from the Garden Party Collection. A few Breathe Couture items were also featured worn by actress Rebecca Marshall in Toro Magazine Oct 2010.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Jennifer.
I’ve always been a creative person, I grew up making my own dolls out of scraps of fabric and paper, as well as their outfits. I’ve been designing and drawing ever since I can remember. It was natural for me to go on to take Fashion Design in college and immerse myself further into learning about the ‘World of Fashion’. My inspiration comes from many places, but it’s all about fantasy. I am strongly influenced by couture designers such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and many others. I also love the flirty and romantic style of designer Betsey Johnson and Miuccia Prada (Miu Miu), who bring a modern touch to femininity and gives an ‘edginess’ to show a woman can be both feminine and strong. One of my favourite designers is the fabulous John Galliano who said in an interview, ‘I want to make women dream.’ I want to achieve that same goal-to bring women into a world of beauty, fantasy and whimsy.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Snuggle with my dog. Best. Thing. Ever.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Book keeping. Not my thing! Thankfully my hunny has the math skills, a good accountant also helps.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A fashion designer or artist. I think I'm both now.

What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
My current personal favorite is this One of a Kind Top (but I really, honestly love them all.) A piece of me goes into making every single piece, which is why most of my items are One of a Kind. It's hard to let go of them.

What other artists out there do you love?
I mention some of my favorite designers previously. I have so many artists I admire in various forms of media.

Two things I'm passionate about [are] photography and pit bulls. Yes, I have a pit bull, and no she is not a 'thug' nor [is she] dangerous. I try to educate people on the truth about the breed, not the media terrors that people only seem to hear.

Two wonderful photographers that take wonderful photographs of this breed and are fellow Etsy sellers are Jenny Silva and Susan Sabo.

I also love Kit and Adam Chase's whimsical artwork. It reminds me to always keep the kid in me alive.

What does your future hold?
Hopefully many happy days creating beautiful eco-friendly items that bring a smile to everyone who sees and buys them!

Oh and retiring by the ocean with my sweetheart and many walks on the beach at both dawn and dusk.