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July Sustainably Stylish: Katrina

This months sustainably stylish is globe trotter and fashionista, Katrina Olson.

I first met Katrina when on set for Global Morning TV, where she was helping to promote and advocate for local art event, La Nuit Sauvage with Theatre Junction. Katrina later reviewed a few of our local Calgary products for Sustainable Style YYC, and I have been blessed to have kept in touch with her since.

After the many years I spent living in the UK (Scotland), followed by Australia (Sydney & Melbourne) and recently traveling back and forth between Calgary and New York, I immediately was drawn to Katrina due to her similar view about fostering the fashion, film, and art community here in Calgary after living in other countries. Katrina is taking Calgary by storm, she recently launched the Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF) being held this July 22 and 23 in Calgary. What's even more exciting? A portion of the films this year at CANIFF will be dedicated to sustainable style.

Learn about Katrina's driven attitude and bright spirit below!

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?

Where do I start? I am a Calgarian through and through. I grew up here, studied art and film at UofC. I left Calgary for a brief time in my 20’s and lived between cities in the USA and traveled some of Europe and Asia only to end up back in YYC. It was during that time I realized, you can only fully appreciate how unique this city is and how rapidly the arts community is growing, by leaving for a few years. I came back with a new focus and decided I was going to do whatever it takes to support the growth of the arts in the community. I joined boards, festival committees and fundraising initiatives. I started a blog writing about fashion, film and art: My three favorite things. I still post because it’s a great outlet for self expression.

I have two awesome daughters, who are very creative in their own right. They inspire me in unbelievable ways everyday. I love to create art, collaborate on projects, and help support the arts as much as I can. My most recent personal mandate in this city has been to promote emerging artists of any discipline gain exposure and establish themselves. It is really difficult for emerging artists to become self sustainable from their art practice.

As of last year, myself and 10 other incredible women created CANIFFF to marry two of my most favorite things FASHION + FILM. We as a team, and I emphasize that because it really takes a village, have established an amazing line-up of fashion films. The films submitted have come from over 12 different countries, including some spectacular home grown Calgary talents. It’s so exciting to build a Canadian platform for a relatively new art form and film genre. The festival takes place July 22 & 23, 2016 and tickets are on sale now at

2. How do you define style for yourself?

I go through phases of things. I love trends, but some just don’t fit with my day-to-day life. I am always on the go, driving the kids and meeting with different people, so whatever I wear needs to be comfortable and easy to layer. The weather in this city is so unpredictable, I need to be able to be warmer or colder at the drop of a hat.

3. What’s your must have style accessory?

Sunglasses, shoes and coats. I could literally run out the door in my pajamas to drive the kids to school, but if I am wearing a good pair of sunnies, coat and shoe combo, no one would even notice...ha ha ha!

4. If there was one piece of style advice you would give to others what would be it be?

Find pieces that work for your lifestyle. I heard that Albert Einstein wore the same outfit everyday because he didn’t want to use any of his mental capacity on choosing what to wear. I think about that a lot, if you have great basics and lots of great accessories, you can always pull off a “look”. I mean the greatest style icon of our time, Karl Lagerfeld lives by this philosophy too. His look is always a black and white version of the same uniform. It works.

5. What sparked your interest in sustainable style?

I saw the film “True Cost”. It really helped me realize how unsustainable fast-fashion is. Shortly after that I met Simone Cipriani who is the head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative. We talked a great deal about the difference between “Ethical” and “Sustainable” fashion, as well as the the importance of both. It has made me more conscious of what I am buying.

6. What’s your favourite vintage, sustainable, or eco fashion stores? Why?

My friend started a year ago and I have been selling my things through the site and buying others. It’s great for the items you have worn many time and just need a change. was founded in Calgary, and is Canada’s largest online luxury consignment retailer offering authenticated designer goods.

7. Currently wearing?

Because it’s a Sunday and I am working from home on CANIFFF stuff, I am wearing my Missoni house coat I bought in Milan over three year ago. It’s basically like wearing a colorful blanket around. I live in my house coat at home <3

Learn more about Katrina here, and visit CANIFF here.

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