Ines and Veronica Di Santo, two beautifully talented women, as different as night and day; bound by their love, have become an unparalleled combination of genius in the wedding industry.
This mother and daughter team have worked together as a team for as long as Veronica can remember. Even as a kid, Veronica would help out her mom, who was busy creating ready-to-wear fashions for her ever-busy clientele.
“I can still see her precious little hands draped over my shoulders as I worked on the sewing machine late into the night,” Ines recalls.
Ines' Journey Born in Italy and raised in Argentina, Ines had fashion in her blood. Her mother was an embroiderer and made all the family clothing, while her father was an Art Director.
Ines’ talent continued to develop into her teens as she began creating “coming out dresses” for her friends. At 13, she babysat for twin girls, who she'd cut their hair and clothes to create new designs. “It was a disaster," she says. " You can imagine the surprise on everyone’s face when they came home. My mother had a fit!”
In 1974, Ines would be the first in her immediate family to leave Argentina and immigrate to Canada. Initially she worked at Ritche, an upscale Toronto boutique, in the cutting and designing room.
In 1984, Ines decided it was time to start her own business by creating a fashion show of couture evening gowns that she could showcase at Casa Loma. “Usually, most people first create a business and then they have a show, but I thought I will have the show and then I will make a business,” Ines says. The show at Casa Loma was a great success.
Today With some encouragement from a friend, Ines started wholesaling her couture bridal collection in the United States in 1997. Today, her gowns are sold in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, United States as well as in Canada at their exclusive Ines Di Santo boutique on Davenport and Avenue Road (just north of Hazelton Lanes) and at Veronica Di Santo Atelier in Woodbridge, Ont..
Their warehouse in Woodbridge, Ont., is where everything is produced from start to finish in the true couture fashion. “We use the best fabrics; create the patterns right on the mannequin and do all our custom work by hand," says Veronica.
It has been a long journey for Ines and Veronica Di Santo, but they've always had each other.
Ines and Veronica Di Santo's Q&A with TheRingBearer.ca
Q: Veronica have you always wanted to be a fashion designer? A: Veronica: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree - I have seen my mom creating all of my life - it just comes natural. It is kind of a part of my DNA.
Q: What make each of you different as designers? A: Veronica: I envision what the younger generation is in tune with in fashion. I design more of the trends. What people want my age.
A: Ines: I can design for any bride. I don’t think of the trends. I think of how I feel and how I see you. Everything is about feeling for me and I express my feelings in my designs. Nature inspires me.
Q: What has been the highlight of both of your careers to date? Both Veronica and Ines say the wedding gowns they created for Veronica’s wedding last year.
A: Veronica: It was so much fun working with my mom on this. I knew exactly what I wanted. Ines designed nine dresses for me and we went with three of them.
A: Ines: It was how I saw Veronica. For the ceremony, we have the romantic gown called Vera. For the reception we had a more body fitting dress in pink called Nica. The third dress was a fun mini dress Veronica changed into later in the evening.
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