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Meet the Powerful Women of Toronto’s Interior Design Show

Bringing together the world’s most innovative and compelling installations, the Interior Design Show Toronto celebrates the best in design from emerging and international designers. From future-forward creations to sustainability-conscious furniture, the highly anticipated event⁠—with over 53,000 companies⁠—displays design ideas and trends built to amaze and explore. This year, we invite you to gather inspiration from female creatives and leaders that are shaping the way for professionals. These women are all passionate forward-thinkers who are focused on shifting us towards a brighter and more inclusive future for the interior world. Below, they share insights on the evolution of female-fronted interior design and what’s to come for the future of their brands.

BETHAN LAURA WOODS

Since launching her firm in 2010, British designer Bethan Laura Woods has taken the fashion world by storm. Commissioned by the likes of Hermès and Tory Burch, her passion for colour and detail is unlike anyone else.

Bethan Laura Woods: photographed by Jouet Portrait.

“I have always hoped for and worked towards a future in design where all genders are equal. For the future of my brand, I aim to create a stable practice for myself and my team. To push myself and my industry to create designs that are appropriate for our times, that tackle questions in design, and create new solutions. I am always interested in finding the balance between our need and desire to create and the impact this has on the world we live in.”

Photography by Emanuele Tortora.

VANESSA FONG

With over a decade of architectural experience, founder Vanessa Fong of VFA Architecture + Design brings an innovative and practical approach to contemporary design. Her work featured at this year’s IDS Concept Home creates a multi-sensory experience that addresses the five senses and their impact on health and wellness.

Vanessa Fong: photographed by Jaime Hogge.

“Our industry is becoming more evolved but so is our audience and clients. The Canadian audience is becoming more design savvy and sophisticated, and this has allowed the conversation (and our brand) to change from ‘just selecting finishes’ to integrating design with its impact on human health and wellness. The spaces and places we create have profound effects on our wellbeing and VFA will continue to explore these concepts. We want to create not just spaces but spaces with substance.”

RESET Home, Concept House.

HANNAH O’DONOVAN

Founder of Toronto–based purpose-driven marketing studio Lovedey Hannah O’Donovan specializes in connecting brands to their audiences through experiential events and installations. This year at IDS, Lovedey is responsible for the sustainable design and creation of all Common Spaces— attendees can connect, collaborate, reflect, and refresh. 

Hannah O’Donovan: photographed by Lizzie O’Donell.

“I created Lovedey to bring more meaning to my work. I am so grateful to have found my place in an industry alongside many strong women, but female representation tends to thin out towards the top where key decisions are made. If businesses are going to address more diverse issues, we need more balanced representation in decision-making roles and I’ve learnt that there’s no better time than now to be in the driver’s seat of your own company. With so much support in the entrepreneur space, it’s empowering to see how many women are reinventing traditional business structures and truly disrupting the status quo. As both the design community and the wider business world are placing more emphasis on addressing social and environmental issues, Lovedey is helping brands shift from viewing sustainability as a brand’s competitive edge to making it the way brands capture their market share.” 

Photography by Sarjoun Faour.

IDS 2020 takes place Thursday January 16 to Sunday January 19, 2020 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.