Fashion & Shopping

Style Life: How One Of Canada’s Best-Dressed Does It

July 11, 2024

Minimal, ’90s, cool and boyish is how designer Alydar Twack-Hansen of Nena Hansen describes her personal style. “Simplicity and comfort are my top priorities. I feel like my style tends to be pretty laid back; because of that I try to buy pieces that are cool on their own so I don’t have to do too much to make an outfit.” The Vancouver-based sustainability champion and pro-thrifter is known for her re-worked pieces created from secondhand button-down shirts. Each piece tells a story: a blend of craftsmanship, sustainability and creativity.

For Twack-Hansen, the label was born naturally, a collision of passions and interests. “Fashion, sustainability, thrifting, textiles, and design—all these threads wove together to create something unique.” The pandemic played a pivotal role in her foray into fashion. With more time at home, she dusted off her sewing machine and began experimenting. Inspired by the growing trend of reworked fashion, she envisioned a brand that breathed new life into existing garments. “Why start from scratch when you can reimagine what already exists?” In the spring of 2022, the designer crafted her first piece: a playful bungee top that is now her signature style.

With a generous offer from Gastown retailer One Of A Few, Twack-Hansen stocked her first pieces: “They were my first store and I will be forever grateful to them for giving me such a good start.” The line, now carried by more than 50 stockists in Canada and the U.S., had sustainability built in right from the start.  “My parents were into [it] before it was cool so it feels like second nature at this point. I feel like I really chose it for myself when I was a teenager and got into thrifting. Sustainability and inclusivity in fashion is a non-negotiable for me; I simply don’t buy from brands that don’t make a reasonable effort to be both of those things.”

Her recently opened studio and shop is a slice of New York on West Pender Street; it’s filled with marble accents, brass details and expansive windows that flood the space with natural light. “It’s not just a workspace,” she says of the space. “It’s a canvas for ideas.” The studio doubles as a pop-up place, inviting other small brands to showcase their creations. “Collaboration fuels innovation,” Twack-Hansen emphasizes.

As to her personal style, this unique designer exudes the same effortless cool that defines her brand. Think oversized blazers, vintage denim, and perfectly worn-in sneakers. “Fashion should feel like an extension of yourself,” she says. “It’s about self-expression without sacrificing comfort.”

Though she primarily shops secondhand, Twack-Hansen counts Baserange, a French/Danish label with a focus on natural fibres and sustainable practices, as a favourite brand. When asked whose personal style she admires most, she says, “My friend Danica has the best style—the perfect mix of fun, sporty, sexy and elegant. She is great at mixing designer and vintage in a way that makes you think the whole outfit cost a million bucks.” —Lauren Walker-Lee

Snag Her Style

  • Baserange dress, $310 @ SSENSE
  • Nena Hansen bungee top, $160 @ TUU by Coutukitsch
  • Cardigan, $320 @ Pearle Knits
  • Samsoe Samsoe shades, $180 @ One of a Few
  • Mini hoop earrings, $360 @ Noon Jewellery


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