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Pretend Play


Since 2014

Close-up details of the Fat Furry Fanny, 2017. Photo courtesy of Pretend Play

Pretend Play is a Montreal-based brand of mostly unisex clothing and accessories, made of recycled items. Inspired by the world of the street, night life and festivals, the style is both playful and punk, often incorporating prints featuring symbols of popular culture. Pretend Play offers a range of products from patchwork coats of garish faux fur to deconstructed Louis Vuitton bags decorated with hand-painted provocative phrases. The desire to disrupt is at the heart of the creative process.

Rosalie Lemay, a self-taught fashion designer, is the founder of Pretend Play. In the beginning, a yearning for uniqueness, combined with limited financial resources, inspired her to purchase or sometimes barter for used clothing so she could modify it.

In the fall of 2014, when friends began to send her orders, she decided to transform her hobby into a business.

Initially called CoolKoala, the brand changed its name to Pretend Play in the summer of 2017. Every creation is unique. Her clothing is often worn by artists like singers Hubert Lenoir, Rymz and Billie Eilish, and the DJ Shash’U.

As of 2018, Rosalie Lemay worked alone to design and make her brand’s creations, which are sold in pop-up shops or by appointment at her studio in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood. She occasionally hires a professional sewer for more complicated models.

Sources External link

« CoolKoala – Rosalie Lemay » URBArt, Toast, 25 January 2018,—Rosalie-Lemay. External link

« Pretend play » Instagram, Facebook, Inc., 2019. External link

Turcotte, Alexandre. « Rosalie Lemay de Pretend Play : recycler la mode et provoquer par l’art du DIY » Ton Barbier, Édition OBOX Inc., 21 August 2018, External link

McCord Museum, Inspired and Inspiring: The Next Wave of Quebec Fashion Designers, 2018, 57 min 52 sec. External link

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Madeleine Goubau, Contributor