Brian Bailey, fashion designer (b at Galahad, Alta 15 Feb 1958). Born into a family of five brothers in rural Alberta, Brian Bailey has built a reputation for designing a sophisticated urban women's sportswear collection. Although he began his career retailing menswear, he moved to Toronto in 1981 to study fashion design at Ryerson Polytechnic University. While studying, Bailey maintained a position as a visual merchandiser for The Hudson's Bay Company - a store that would later carry his own label. In 1983 he was hired by the House of Cowan to design under the Bernard Cowan label; by 1988 Bailey was recognized as a major Canadian designer and launched his own label through a new licensing agreement with the company. This arrangement lasted until 1992, when Bailey founded his own company, Iscariot Design, which currently sells the Brian Bailey label in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In early 2000 the designer opened two boutiques in Toronto. Since then, his collections have appeared in major department stores in North America, including Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and The Bay, and also in Harrods and Selfridges in the United Kingdom. In 2007 Brian Bailey launched an affordable, wearable collection designed to appeal to a wide cross-section of Canadian women. Bailey became known for his refined feminine tailoring with shapes that flattered the natural curves of the body. His classic cuts have continued to please women of all sizes, and Bailey is one of the few Canadian designers who cater to both regular and plus-size markets. As a well-seasoned ready-to-wear designer, Bailey has also ventured into new fashion categories including bridal, evening wear and corporate uniforms.
Additionally, in 2007, Bailey launched a capsule collection made exclusively in Canada and sold on The Shopping Channel. After airing, the collection sold out immediately and was rated the highest designer launch in the program's history. Bailey's main ready-to-wear line continues to sell on the television program and its online e-commerce site.
A major promoter of Canadian fashion design, Brian Bailey was instrumental in establishing the Toronto Ready-to-Wear Canadian Designer Collections. He has also served as the president of Designers Ontario and has represented designers on the federal Fashion Apparel Sector Campaign and the City of Toronto Fashion Industry Liaison Committee. Bailey's talent has been recognized by the industry, and he has been the recipient of several design awards. His dedication was acknowledged through the City of Toronto's Industry Achievement Award in 1994.
In 2007 Brian Bailey was invited to join supermodel Iman as a mentor for Project Runway Canada, a reality television program designed to showcase and encourage young Canadian designers. The show ran for two successful seasons on the Global network before ceasing production in 2009.