Originally hailing from Calgary, Canada, I moved to New York to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design. It was there that I learned the technical skills of design and developed my individuality as a designer. My professors were consistently commenting on my unique eye.
After Parsons, I worked with Proenza Schouler, Zac Posen and Vera Wang, where I initially focused on couture. The emphasis on construction and detail, as well as creating one of a kind, unique garments are concepts that translated into the brand Kuzyk. Originally, I was steadfast on working in couture, I have always been motivated to create the transformational moment where the wearer puts on a piece and radiates that beauty within us all. I opened my mind to that moment not being reserved for wedding dresses or gowns.
Preferring to create ready-to-wear, I saw an opportunity to use garments to make people feel empowered and at their most beautiful. Valuing craftsmanship and quality, Kuzyk aims to be timeless and thoughtful, a mainstay in anyone’s wardrobe. After three years in Los Angeles, I am happy to be back in New York City building the first Kuzyk showroom. Kuzyk is manufactured entirely in New York City and Los Angeles.
Current source of inspiration:
Being out on the water. In a boat. Floating on a surfboard. Watching old movies. Especially in old theatres
A quote that inspires you:
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because the world needs people who have come alive-Howard Thurman
What is your motto?
I know it sounds crazy, but I can tell I’m in my sweet spot when I just follow my motto of ‘fuck it’ and go for it.
Meditation technique that anyone can do:
Mindful breathing Bring your attention to your breath.Breathe slowly and deeply. With each breath, allow yourself to become more fully relaxed. Breathe in for 4 seconds, Hold the breath for 7 seconds Exhale for 8 secondsWait 3 seconds between cycles
Book you’ve read 100 times:
It’s a simple book but The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a book always on a corner of a table or counter somewhere in my house. Filled with notes and completely dog eared.
What is your most treasured possession?
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I was secretly a mighty good skateboarder
I love young Leo DiCaprio- the man can act. Oh! And John Wayne, I have been watching old westerns lately.
Dance is another tool that Elizabeth relies on as part of her creative process. As with meditation, she relies on movement for the opportunity to channel energy, stay in the present moment and access creativity
Growing up studying various genres- jazz, ballet, tap etc, Elizabeth rediscovered dance as an adult; as a designer she began to explore the way we move through life and the role clothing plays in that. Designing with intention is central to the KUZYK philosophy, and Elizabeth often speaks of the protective nature of clothing and how it can provide strength and influence how one carries themself.
The slowing down of the fashion and design process to allow for more deliberate product is also a key component to the KUZYK approach. Elizabeth speaks of unplugging to plug in: “We are living in a world of distractions… I find that carving out time to put my phone away and let go of thoughts and expectations allows me to fully live in the now- dancing helps me to move energy in and out of my body and let creativity flow.”
Both the KUZYK collection and Elizabeth’s meditation practice came about in a symbiotic way, and each continues to inform the other.
Elizabeth began her meditation practice studying a wide range of traditions (Tibetan Buddhism, Zen, MBSR) before settling on Mindfulness and Shambhala. Through her practice she explores the concept of ‘basic goodness,’ meaning quite simply that you are more than enough right here and now, just the way you are. Self-compassion is the focus of the Shambhala tradition and meditation works to create space between one’s true self and thoughts, your inner narrative.
Elizabeth describes the relationship between meditation and design: “Through my practice, I explore the idea of becoming closer to ‘one’s true self’ and who we are at our core. Creative, empathetic, strong, curious, generous- I make clothes to remind people of these inherent human traits and allow access to them. I design jackets to empower and dresses to inspire playfulness- clothing to help one live life with grace and ease.”
When asked about the immediate benefits of meditation, Elizabeth cites feeling connected and supported, learning that we are all more similar than we are different, and forging the ability to see and be seen, to freely love and be loved.