The Showroom a flourishing fashion designer hub in Hamilton

There’s a new fashion hub in Hamilton

And it’s a place that’s overflowing with innovation and creativity. I recently visited The Showroom, a large studio space located at the Cotton Factory, flooded with natural light from huge windows. I was fortunate to meet up with two of the fashion designers that use the space. Both Leslie Smith-Aragona and Ash Bullock use reclaimed textiles to create their pieces, and sustainability is a theme throughout The Showroom. There are many different artists who work and sell their work in the space, but you’ll not find any two things exactly alike other than that they are completely unique and sustainable.

Thrifty Designer

I met Leslie a number of years ago through Hamilton Fempreneurs, when she ran a storefront for her brand Thrifty Designer in the International Village. She’s since pulled up stakes to join the legions of artists at the Cotton Factory and hasn’t looked back. Leslie has a private studio space when she needs time to focus on her work, which she displays in The Showroom. Leslie is a genius with reinventing clothing, and is known for her gorgeous, flowy kimonos. She can take any item and create something entirely new, elevated and fashion forward.


Ash uses previously loved clothing to reinvent new pieces as well, with a distinct street style that is unmistakably the ASHES brand. Ash pieces together material in a patchwork to make the most of the fabric in an effort to be kinder to the environment. The result is stunning, one of a kind pieces.
Photo courtesy of


Leslie and Ash have also teamed up on a brand they call M218. I snapped up a pair of M218 shorts when I visited. They are a dark corduroy, with a wide band at the waist, and they were so incredibly comfortable and flattering the minute I put them on.

So many local designers & entrepreneurs

Browsing at The Showroom is an exercise in restraint, because everything is so fabulous you may get a little overwhelmed with the feeling of “ooo I gotta have this” everywhere you look. Angela DeMontigny’s LODGE candles can be found alongside jewellery made by Thrifty Designer. There are even some other sustainable staples like Mind Your Bees beeswax wrap (another Cotton Factory member), and snacks from locally made Comeback Snacks.
Oh, and the oversized patchwork duffle by Guy are also made in mico-duffle size and hit you straight in the cuteness overload spot:

Find out more:

Visit The Showroom at The Cotton Factory,
270 Sherman Ave.N.
second floor, unit 218.
You absolutely must follow on Instagram to check out all the incredible fashion:
Also follow:
-Suzanne, The Generator

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The Showroom a flourishing fashion designer hub in Hamilton


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