When you open up the home page of Sonja den Elezen’s Thieves Boutique website you’re greeted by pretty script font and a selection of beautifully designed garb. From menswear to womenswear you’re automatically enthralled by sleek silhouettes and imaginative drapery. But that’s not all you can expect to find.
Sonja, recently began transitioning into her new lifestyle brand Zen Nomad. Zen Nomad offers stylish and comfortable clothing for yoga lovers and comfort enthusiast, while also being ethically produced and ecologically sustainable.
"We focus on fabrics that are gentler on the environment and enjoy working with contractors that are also running their own businesses here locally.."
Still, you have to wonder how and why this transition from fashion to function took place. “I took some time off from the fashion world a few years ago to develop my interests in wellbeing, yoga and shiatsu, not only to regain a life balance and health, but to be able to connect others with wellbeing.” Says Sonja. “Through that time, the designer in me was wanting yoga and apres yoga lifestyle clothes that I was not able to find anywhere, so I began designing Zen Nomad.”
This transition not only resulted in a wonderful collection of yoga inspired wear but also in a peaceful state of mind for the designer, “Because it ties in so completely into my other wellness offerings, it allows me to create a business that helps me feel more balanced in my life and work experience.” The transition was coming from a great state of mind making it a natural process for Sonja, “the transition was very easy because it was nested in with my other offerings and was coming from a very authentic place.”
This authentic and concerned view is present all throughout the line. From the thought process in creating the line but also in its execution; with sustainable and local development. “Everything with Zen Nomad is currently made in Canada, we even mill closed-loop organic bamboo for a large part of our collection here in the Toronto Area. We focus on fabrics that are gentler on the environment and enjoy working with contractors that are also running their own businesses here locally.”
So, what’s the secret to her success? “Do what you love, find your voice, think critically about your business decisions. Surround yourself with good and knowledgeable, caring people, consider what your self-care practices are and make sure they are part of your daily routine. Stay healthy.”
Some of this season’s must have pieces include Sonja’s rhythm Ruche capri, the asymmetrical yoga bra, linen Delphine top and high waisted yoga leggings. To top it off her new Warrior wrap jacket for coming and going in style.
Meet Sonja and shop her Zen Nomad collection this September 26+27 at #INLANDFall2015.
Written by: Deborah Lopez-Delgado, Ryerson University Fashion Communications student.