Only You Dictate What You Should Wear

Celebrating a career that spans over three decades, fashion designer and artisan Annie Thompson is in a safe place. Having a strong and loyal clientele base, she creates seasonless clothing and accessories based on the concept that everyone should be free to wear what they like – no matter what the trends dictate. “We are bombarded with so many rules about what we should wear, when and how we ‘should’ wear it. There should be freedom in wearing what you feel, rather than wearing what you think you should wear. Be who you are and be free to wear what makes you feel like you,” says Thompson of her fashion philosophy.

On Thursday, September 16, 2010 Thompson hosted an intimate art and fashion presentation: I AM NOT THE POLICE at the Rouge Concept Gallery located at 732 Queen Street East, Toronto with a cocktail reception, followed by a presentation of the designer’s recent fashion collection.

Photo by Jakob Burkhardt

Featuring a cast of models from the city’s top agencies, the fashion presentation will also included a handful of Annie Thompson’s clients, each wearing the clothing with their personal distinctive flair. “We’ve become a homogenous society. Who wants to be just another number? We need to get back to expressing our unique traits and celebrating them. My clients are in charge of how they want to wear my clothing,” says Thompson.

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I AM NOT THE POLICE took place one week after the opening of Rouge Concept Gallery’s Ripe exhibit; which opened on Thursday, September 9, 2010, and runs through until Sunday, October 10, 2010. Described as “a ripe, sensual, full-bodied contemporary art exhibit inspired by fashion”, the show features new works by Annie Thompson, Marianne Botha, Frances Ferdinands, and Jacquie Green. For more information on Rouge Concept Gallery, visit

Annie Thompson Artelier at 1 Wiltshire Avenue, Studio 205 in Toronto hold open houses each month where devoted and brand new customers can shop directly with the designer. No appointment is needed. For more information, or updated monthly open studio hours, visit


Annie Thompson’s design career started while she was studying Fine Art at the University of Windsor. The Labrador-born artist evolved her fashion talents through her need to be constantly creating coupled with an inability to find clothes that satisfactorily fit and suited her. Almost thirty years after graduating from Ryerson University’s Fashion Program, Thompson has become one of Canada’s most beloved fashion designers with a fervent and diverse following.

“I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I just ‘made’ things and knew that I had to continue ‘making things”. I went to fashion school to learn more about what I was already doing. Now, as then, I make clothes, I make bags, I make art, I make ‘things’. I am lucky enough to make things that some people are crazy for,” says the award-winning designer.

There is nothing mass-market about the pieces in her seasonless collections; her distinct look is a rich mix of captivating silhouettes, complimentary design line, unusual fabrications and detailing. Her creative-minded clientele express an entrepreneurial and free-thinking spirit, and range from lawyers and doctors, to museum curators and gallery owners; her designs are lauded by women of countless backgrounds and body shapes.

Thompson is also actively involved with the Craft Council of West Bengal, India, where she is developing a major textile art installation with local artisans to build revenue for the local community. Her work will be exhibited in Kolkata (Calcutta) and major global centres in 2013. For more information, visit

About Gail McInnes (320 Articles)
Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, Gail McInnes has made an indelible mark on the Canadian fashion and entertainment scenes; managing and guiding the careers of some of the country's most notable talents, including Lucian Matis, Hilary MacMillan, Stephen Amell (CW's Arrow), Natalie Brown (The Strain), Brad Goreski (E! Fashion Police), and more. Visit for more information or email

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