Exclusive Interview With Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer Heidi Ackerman

Published: January 10th 2011
in Culture » Society

Heidi Ackerman Futuristic Designs

Heidi Ackerman’s designs have been described as avant-garde, bizarre, and innovative. The Toronto born fashion designer states that she has two great passions- the planet and design. She has dedicated her life to combining these two loves to create a line of eco-friendly clothing.


Ackerman studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University. After graduating, she continued her schooling at UTS in Austria and La Cambre in Brussels. She has since designed three very well received collections in Toronto. Her designs have been showcased at three consecutive Alternative Arts and Fashion Week’s (FAT) and LG Fashion Week.


She has received acclaim for her futuristic, experimental, and sustainable designs including the “emerging Young Design Award” at R4 (2009), exhibiting finalist for the AOF Competition at Nuit Blanche (2009), LG Fashion Week Showcase (2009), collaborative exhibit at La Cambre (2008), and the “Beefeater Innovative Spirit Award” at F.A.T (2007).


Ackerman’s work has been featured in ZINK, Cheek, Plaza Mag Sweden, FASHION, ION, Fashion Television, Contra, Worn Journal, Spade, and Dress To Kill.


I spoke with Heidi recently about her inspiration, collections, and love of the environment.




AB: When did you start designing clothes?

HA: I became interested in fashion and making clothing at a young age (8 or 10). I studied fashion at Ryerson, UTS in Sydney and at La Cambre in Brussels. For the last 2 1/2 years I have been working on my line and other collaborative projects, such as Opera Erratica.

AB: Why do you believe it's important to use eco-materials in the creation of your fashions?

HA: I have always been concerned about my impact on the environment and when I began studying fashion the immensity of the industry was at times overwhelming. I decided that if I was going to be constantly creating new products and commodities that I would have to make them as ethically as possible. I believe designers have a very important role to play in changing consumer habits. 

AB: What materials do you use and where do you purchase/import them from?

HA: I use a variety of materials including organic wools, recycled cotton, bamboo, tencel and vegetable tanned leathers. It is difficult to find a variety of eco materials in Canada so I often need to look to Spain and the United States for suppliers.

AB: If you had to describe your fashion sense in three words, what would they be?

HA: Futuristic, graphic, intentional


AB: What is your favorite thing about Toronto?


Related articles: (Heidi Ackerman, Toronto, fashion, style, LG Fashion Week, Ryerson)
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