A little bit glam, a dash of rock n’roll and a healthy splash of street and you have the recipe for up and coming Canadian fashion brand, Uranium. Based out of Montreal, this street-wear brand has come a long ways from its humble past, yet it fiercely keeps its local roots and creative spirit intact through owner and designer, Mary-Eve Ruel.
Originally founded by Annie Bédard, Ruel joined the company in 1998 as an intern and worked her way up, doing “all… kind of jobs (even the shitty ones) without ever complaining.” Gradually, she became head of accounts receivable, inventory, research, production and then design. In 2008, Ruel became the official owner.
Ruel is an adamantly positive person, truly seeming to live behind Uranium’s brand mantra of Beauty Strength Love and Creativity in all things. Describing herself as “inspired with an intense drive and passion for the human spirit,” Ruel’s designs borrow heavily from music (The Black Keys, Coeur de Pirate, Florence & the Machine), fashion magazines (Style.com) and in particular, street fashion sites like lookbook.nu
I first encountered Uranium through local trade shows where the jewelry’s mix of street and glam really caught my eye. Uranium’s jewelry is simple enough to wear everywhere, yet uniquely stands out with the flash of a feather here, or the sparkle of a jewel there. Most of the women’s pieces feature masculine elements like raw stones, leathers and metallic pendants. If your style veers towards indie, hipster or eclectic, then Uranium is definitely for you, but even for the preppier types there are some delicate drop earrings and bangles to try.
Under Ruel’s direction, the brand has expanded from its beginnings producing wooden jewelry into men’s accessories and a full apparel line for men, women, and even babies! Whatever your age, Ruel has got you covered. Even though the brand sells internationally, Ruel runs her business like a local shop. Somewhat of an Internet addict, Ruel will definitely notice if you’re wearing her designs online – in fact, after spotting Quebecois musician, Coeur de Pirate (Béatrice Martin) wearing her jewelry, Ruel reached out and the two ended up releasing a collection together just this season. A mix of feminine graphic prints and nautical touches, the collection is right on trend and all I want to do is wear this fleece with this necklace, some leather shorts and tights! Young, trendy, urban, but with a rugged touch – Ruel contains the qualities that could really help her generation to forge a separate identity for Canadian style. While definitely too early to bestow any sort of fashion icon title on her young head, I think it’s safe to say Uranium is a promising start and worth checking out for your next unique buy.