Though her line is all her own, Delia expresses an appreciation for Chanel and Alexander McQueen, and “many other designers I am just learning about from celebrities like the Duchess of Cambridge. I appreciate other designers, though I don’t draw on them directly. There are so many out there who are making an impact on the world of fashion, and it’s great that they’ve become visible.”
Delia says she finds inspiration in the practical ethnic attire of women in other parts of the world, like Indonesia, India, and China. However, before she elevates her art to the next level, she is focused on perfecting contemporary basics for every body. “The Western world requires us to dress more casually, so ‘go’ wear makes up the majority of my current designs—leggings, T-shirts, tops. I want to show my customers that what you wear every day can look and feel luxurious as well.”
In college, Delia was determined to learn everything she could about the fashion industry. She studied extensively in England: clothing production, modeling, fashion design, pattern making, and illustration. After graduating, she experimented with forming her own business before taking a step back to become a designer’s assistant. These foundations provided the groundwork for Delia von Hahn Designs.
Delia von Hahn garments are made out of natural fabrics like bamboo and wool, sourced from a local supplier in Vancouver. Delia says she hopes to expand her line to incorporate other natural fibers as well. The sustainability and environmentally friendly aspects of Delia’s designs are due in part to her family. “I have always liked natural fabrics—they just feel good to me. One of my daughters is very passionate about sustainability and being good to the planet, and I am encouraged to bring that level of awareness to my customers. In the end, it makes me happy to make clothes that are natural and safe for the environment.”
Reynauld, Delia’s husband and business partner, states that the major issue with artificially made fabrics is pollution. “People may not realize it, but when a fabric like polyester sheds, those fibers get into our water systems and these small amounts of pollution add up. Overall, natural fabrics are better for the planet and better for skin.”
In addition to being good for the planet, Delia von Hahn creations are also good for people. And they’re durable. What’s the use in falling in love with an article of clothing only to have it fall apart after a season? Instead of struggling to replace worn out leggings or your favorite T-shirt, Delia von Hahn’s made-to-measure classics are meant to be worn time and time again. “Because I design everyday casual clothing with a made-to-measure fit, I believe the quality of the product should also be exceptional,” Delia relates.
Delia’s passion for the planet goes beyond creating a sustainable product. She and her family are also active supporters of Susila Dharma International, an organization devoted to developing health and educational resources in 35 countries around the world. The charity supports the building of health care clinics and infrastructure, in places where government is weak. “It’s about building people up and enabling them to support themselves,” she explains.
Delia’s own wardrobe reflects her casual designs. “I create clothing for myself because I am not satisfied by what’s available in stores, and I know other women feel the same way. I wear my own products all the time. A tank top and T-shirt with leggings is my go-to. My designs are versatile and meant to be layered—you can wear a T-shirt over a tank top or under a hoodie in the fall, or by itself in the summer.”
With a limited catalog of casual wear and made-to-measure classics, the von Hahn workshop is almost entirely a one-woman enterprise. “It’s just me doing the work,” Delia says. “Though when things get busy, I do have local tailors I can call on.” The hardest part, she says, is making sure the measurements are perfect and that the client is satisfied. “The best advice I can give to a customer is to suggest they evaluate their wardrobe and choose a piece that they will wear regularly and get the most use out of. The most important thing to me is to see my customers happy, and if they love their new clothes, I’m satisfied, too.”