“A Day in the Life” with Toronto fashion designer Stacey Gonder

Stacey Gonder is a Fashion Designer based out of Toronto, ON. Stacey grew up in Pontypool, located in Victoria County, an hour outside of the bustling city. From a young age she knew that she had a passion for dance, and the talent to pursue it.

After a quarter century of dance instruction and performing professionally, she decided to enroll in the International Academy of Design, with a focus on costume studies. In 2001, immediately after graduating, she launched her first endeavor – Flash Design Company. Catering to some of the GTA’s most prestigious dance companies, she found a way to combine her two passions – dance and fashion. Flash DC designs and crafts costumes for a range of ages and dance styles. In the competitive dance world, costumes creators must master three things; good construction, comfort and looking absolutely fabulous! After 14 years of honing these skills, Stacey decided that dance land wasn’t enough.

She believes that every body deserved the opportunity to express themselves through fashion, and in 2014 launched The House of Sass and Magic. As an enthusiast in the Toronto Electronic Dance Music scene, it did not take long for Stacey to develop clientele for both the ready-to-wear party line, and highly coveted custom rave costumes. Her wearable artistic creations have been seen on dancefloors around the world, and graced such festivals as Bass Coast, Shambhala and Burning Man. And as if that wasn’t enough, her custom work can also be seen at various comic book and cosplay conventions such as FanExpo and Anime North. She is also a regular vendor at Toronto’s Pride festivities, selling on-site and creating some custom pieces for attendees. It is important to Stacey that The House of Sass and Magic promote ideals surrounding individuality, self-expression, authenticity and advocate for the LGBTQ+ communities. Stacey loves to design for all genders and non-binary alike, and at present is excitedly designing a gender fluid line which will be launching in early 2019. But two companies are still not enough for Stacey, so in 2015 she partnered with her brother to launch Infinite Promotions, providing promotional products and branded merchandise.

With three companies on the go, Stacey Gonder is a busy creator and entrepreneur taking the city by storm. But despite her packed schedule, she still manages to find time to DANCE!

Written By: Suzan Mazur

Fan Expo Toronto with 2 of my favourite people. Alexandra Kerr (to my right) is an assistant extraordinaire. She understands the way my mind works and helps facilitate the ideas I dream up! Angela Chiodo is my bestie of 30 years. We’ve been through thick & thin together & I am forever grateful to have her in my life. August 30, 2018
Fan Expo Toronto with 2 of my favourite people. Alexandra Kerr (to my right) is an assistant extraordinaire. She understands the way my mind works and helps facilitate the ideas I dream up!
Angela Chiodo is my bestie of 30 years. We’ve been through thick & thin together & I am forever grateful to have her in my life – August 30, 2018
I am happiest when I am creating and/or sharing my creations with the public. This group of people make this possible. #SassAmbassadors- Sarah Emini, Kirra Klaassen, Stefani Kalaitzidis, Natalia Pozo, Chris Leonard, Carey Ramstead, Angela Chiodo, Camilla Kalibek. Raw Artists May 2018
I am happiest when I am creating and/or sharing my creations with the public. This group of people make this possible. #SassAmbassadors- Sarah Emini, Kirra Klaassen, Stefani Kalaitzidis, Natalia Pozo, Chris Leonard, Carey Ramstead, Angela Chiodo, Camilla Kalibek – Raw Artists May 2018
Stacey with her spirit animal. Unicorns are in line with the magic that I attempt to bring to my designs and everyday life. September 2017
Stacey with her spirit animal. Unicorns are in line with the magic that I attempt to bring to my designs and everyday life – September 2017
Studio photography with my super fab friend, photographer & writer Suzan Mazur. We have a ton of fun & we create some awesome memories together. Photo: Suzan Mazur - September 2018
Studio photography with my super fab friend, photographer & writer Suzan Mazur.
We have a ton of fun & we create some awesome memories together. Photo: Suzan Mazur – September 2018

The House of Sass & magic booth set up at Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo British Columbia. This is one of my favourite places on earth. We have vended at this festival for 5 years and this summer was one of our best years on the farm. Photo Cred: Suzan Mazur - August 2018
The House of Sass & magic booth set up at Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo British Columbia. This is one of my favourite places on earth. We have vended at this festival for 5 years and this summer was one of our best years on the farm. Photo Cred: Suzan Mazur – August 2018
This picture is a favourite of mine. This creation is a showpiece that was created after having some self reflection & revelation about my experiences through the year 2017. The show at The Super Wonder Gallery gave a platform to share the piece with an audience. Model:Ruby Rea October 2017
This picture is a favourite of mine. This creation is a showpiece that was created after having some self reflection & revelation about my experiences through the year 2017. The show at The Super Wonder Gallery gave a platform to share the piece with an audience. Model: Ruby Rea – October 2017
The above photo was taken at an event that we vended at in July of this year. It’s honestly where I feel the most at home & free. Connecting with individuals that have similar views on life is rewarding & fulfilling. July 2018

What ‘hood are you in?

I live & work in Leslieville. I’ve been in the neighbourhood for approximately 10 years. I love the east side of the city!

What do you do?

I currently run three (3) brands, The House of Sass & Magic, which specializes in one-of-a-kind, short-run and limited edition expressionwear for people of all genders, all garments are handmade with love in Toronto, Canada by myself and a small number of staff. Flash Design Company designs and manufactures custom costuming primarily for dancers. Infinite Promotions is run by myself & one of my brothers J.C. Gonder. We specialize in promotional products (swag), branded apparel and graphic design.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a mini collection for The House of Sass & Magic. We will be showing it at Start Up Fashion Week October 19, 2018. This collection is the premier of “The Future Is Everybody”–many of our garments are designed with genderfluidity in mind, because we know that fabulousness comes in all genders. We are fiercely passionate about celebrating individuality, self- expression, and authenticity. This ethos inspires us to create garments that reflect the wildest, most glamorous dreams of ourselves and our clients.

We are also ready to start our busiest time of year with Flash Design Company, creating custom costumes for various dance studios across the GTA.

Infinite Promotions has multiple projects in the works with clients from various locations.

Where can we find your work?

The latest collection will be at StartUp Fashion Week Toronto October 18, 2018.

Most often in the summer months we vend at music events, conventions & dress participants for various performance based events. Plus, we’re regulars at Toronto PRIDE, Animé North, Toronto Comicon and FanExpo Canada. Retail purchases can be made at www.HouseSMtdot.com as well as www.FlashDesignCo.com, and www.Infinitepromotions.ca.

 

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1875 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography