Canadian Style Makers: Misty Greer on the business of fashion

Vancouver got a taste of our own irresistible Misty Greer last year at Guilt and Co. where she unveiled her fashion line American Guru, which followed her sold out ready-to-wear collection titled – Trunk Show.

Misty who was born in Portland, Oregon, grew up in Hawaii and then relocated to Los Angeles. She spent two years there at Pasadena City College before moving north to Vancouver, B.C. to attend Kwantlen’s Bachelor of Arts fashion design and technology diploma program.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University provided Misty a myriad of tools to launch her career by acquiring expert skills in design and apparel, analysis of market trends, production logistics, importing and exporting regulations and business tactics to effectively grow and develop successful fashion lines.

Misty has found success in Vancouver. A niche retail market and from what I have been told, the burlesque community consists of 160 plus artists and growing! So we can assume there is no shortage of willing clients for this local style maker.

Recently she was spotted at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many artists wore her fashions from across North America, whether while performing or rocking it out in Trunk Show – or even custom made garments by Greer. Visit her website for details:

Misty Greer Sewing

A muse is a gift most designers hope to find in their lifetime. Like Hepburn was to Givenchy or Coppola is to Marc – Misty Greer has found Lola Frost. A sultry, sophisticated and wildly intelligent social media maven. A fierce burlesque artist and instructor, Lola is an exceptional businesswoman and promoter, and certainly one of the most professional artists I have had the pleasure of meeting.

Most recently Misty designed, sketch to thread, Lola’s  entire costume that won her 2nd runner up in the “Miss Exotic World Reigning Queen of Burlesque” Tournament of Tease. Misty was the creator of almost everything Lola wore during the Burlesque Hall of Fame – keeping her muse impeccably styled in costume garments.

Lola also wore two of her couture creations to accept her awards in and was gracious enough to share this intimate moment with us readers at Vancity Buzz.

Below: Lola holding her trophy proudly at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, June 2013

Lola Frost in Misty Greer Couture

“Misty makes manifest of my desires in couture form. She can not only see my vision but furthers it with her unique and untouchable style. Each piece is infused with power and grace – some like armour to battle waves of sensuality and others like whispers of decorated nakedness. Coining the phrase Stripper Couture, Misty’s designs and removals are unmatched, like her spirit.”  Lola Frost 

Misty, a business savvy woman, used social media to propel her fashion influence into the world of burlesque and music. Using social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter, Misty has been able to strategically share her original design aesthetic across the globe, catching the attention of celebrities and artists alike.

It is not enough to be good at what you do anymore, you need to know how to promote it and photo-sharing in fashion is essential for success. Digital fashion communication has become as important as e-commerce itself.

The talent in Vancouver fashion has recently gleaned a brighter spotlight on our resourceful and original designers. Designers that are using eco-friendly fabrics, manufacturing techniques and utilizing Canadian labour to complete their garments. Misty Greer, this week’s Canadian Style Maker, is one of those designers changing the face of ‘green’ fashion design and manufacturing.

Misty Greer confesses to Garth W. Jackson of Vancity Buzz, “I want to see cottage industry blossom again! I will never mass produce overseas.”

American Guru with Melody Mangler

The other side of Misty Greer, that I was thrilled to uncover is her love for food. Her husband and her travel to eat! Now that is my kind of companion. Misty shared her love for the restaurant named Tickets in Spain and I shared my experience of dining at Next in Chicago, while marveling at her 25 Michelin Star restaurants her and hubby dined in last year alone.

I love the idea of Misty pulling out her vintage frocks and festooning herself with fabulous head pieces that alert the waiters to the seriousness of her love of food and fashion.

When asked about her current accessory must-haves, she said “High-waisted pants, belly chains and shredded band t-shirts.” When poking through her accessories drawers, one finds skulls – and lots of them. Crystal encrusted large pendents, large threaded and weaved peace-sign earrings hanging from skulls (the same ones she wore in our interview) collectively balanced with hearts and lips enameled in stones. Lavish and delicious – Misty Greer.

Misty Greer Accessories

Misty’s advice to those breaking into the industry, whether it is through design, art, styling or fashion blogging, “You have to own it, to want it.” With her signature colourful hair and skull-loving craft there is no way that you can not know that Misty Greer owns her fashion.

Inspired in part by Marilyn Monroe and rock and roll, Misty has infused her clever street style and wit into her designs catching the attention of Lady Gaga. In 2010, Misty designed the famous Mickey Mouse ears for the world famous performer. Most cleverly made of tiny skulls!

Lady GaGa in Misty Greer

Lady Gaga wearing Misty Greer’s Mickey Mouse ears (2009) Vancouver B.C.