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The hand-crafted accessories of Canadian designer Corey Moranis are resonant of rippled light across water. Worn by everyone from Solange to Rihanna, these translucent pieces are so paired back and minimal, and yet incredibly striking statements. Corey Moranis’ pieces are more than just jewellery; they’re sculptures to adorn the body with.
I absolutely love your pieces, could you tell us a little bit about you and your journey to creating your business?
Thanks so much! Well, the path that got me to where I am today has been pretty indirect. Art and fashion have always been a big influence in my life, but at university, I actually majored in Science of all things. But after bouncing around a bit, I ended up studying Material Arts at OCAD.
When I was studying, I became obsessed with the Plastics Studio and the number of materials and processes that were available to learn about. I was able to experiment with techniques that weren’t very common in Canada, and those ideas started to intersect with my love for fashion. It wasn’t intentional, but once I found my material, I was hooked. I began producing small one-off collections and the response was great. I had so much fun making and sharing my designs that I left school to pay all my attention to making my Lucite dreams come true.
So you’re based in Canada, and your pieces are made there too. I’m really intrigued to hear about your design process. Is everything both designed and made in-house?
That’s right, I work from my home studio in Canada and all aspects of the Corey Moranis process are done in-house. It’s nice to work from home because I can make my own hours – and you can’t beat the commute. In terms of the design process, I often come up with my best ideas when I’m just playing around with the materials and experimenting. Twisting, tying and knotting super-heated plastic might not sound like fun to most people, but I’m always excited to see what new shapes I can discover.

I came across your work after following Joan’s (@joanthestore) mouth-watering Instagram feed. How did this collaboration happen?
Cat, who is the woman behind Joan, approached me before launching her shop in 2017. She told me about her project and seemed so cool and interesting, I was more than happy to work with her. Joan was one of my first stockists, and ever since then, it has been very supportive of everything I do. We finally met for the first time in New York at Market Week.
What inspires the shapes and designs for your pieces? Are there any specific art, architecture or design references? Or is your head just full to the brim with abstract shapes?
Before I design a new piece, I’ll sometimes have a clear reference or idea of what I’d like to make. These can be based on inspirations from things you mentioned like art, architecture, etc. However, as soon as I start prototyping, most ideas go out the window. Or they’ll go out the window and fly back in later when the timing is right. Many designs end up forming via trial and error, as well as from the constraints of hand-bending Lucite. It can be very difficult to control the material and make it do what you want.
Due to the processes involved, there isn’t much time to sculpt the material, so I have to be strategic. Sometimes, I’ll get so frustrated with trying to achieve a particular shape that I’ll end up bending a piece in a random way just to do something fun and take me out of the moment, and this weird shape will somehow spark a new idea. The design process for me is a lot of winding back and forth to explore new ideas that appeared without reference, whilst also trying to perfect the ones I started with.
Your pieces are incredibly striking, yet also very minimal. Do you believe that simplicity is the key to good design?
That’s a tough question! I think that good design, in general, isn’t a product of either simplicity or complexity. In terms of my work, it’s all about striking a comfortable balance between the two. I think that many of my designs have a grace and elegance to them, and that getting overly tricky with the shapes could spoil that beauty. The play of light and shadow through the Lucite itself is also a big part of the design.

This bold quality to your pieces takes away from the traditional ‘feminine’ aesthetic. Do you feel that your pieces would work well on people of other genders too, not just on women?
My pieces definitely aren’t traditional, but I don’t think of them as not having a feminine aesthetic, perhaps just more of a modern one. My current collections are definitely designed and marketed with women in mind, but the pieces can absolutely work on anyone. I have some amazing clients who don’t identify as women and I love seeing how people incorporate my accessories into their own personal aesthetic.
Although fascinatingly beautiful, using Lucite isn’t as eco-friendly compared to other materials. Would you consider going sustainable as your business moves forward?
The fashion industry in general has some serious work to do in terms of working with materials responsibly and reducing waste. Plastic is greatly misused, overproduced and discarded. However, I do think plastics can have a place in the world, and that we should focus on using it (and re-using it) wisely. One benefit of using Lucite in my work is the durability and longevity that it has. Unlike fast fashion, I hope that my clients cherish the Corey Moranis pieces they own, and that they keep/wear them forever. In the future, I plan to seek out increasingly sustainable business practices in other areas to help me reduce waste, use renewable resources and reuse materials in creative ways.
Aside from Canada and the neighbouring United States, your pieces are also stocked in Japan. Are you planning on taking Corey Moranis further across the sea, such as to Europe, for instance?
I would really love to take Corey Moranis across the sea to Europe. It’s a goal of mine to focus my energy on that and participate in Market Week in Paris or London in the next year or so.

Could you tell us a little about your current lookbook, what were the main ideas for this collection, and who is the person you were designing for?
My main ideas for the Spring/Summer 2019 collection are to continue exploring the shapes and curves that have been inspiring me in past, whilst enhancing them with new twists, turns and an expanded palette. Joy, playfulness and a modern elegant individual are always in my mind. The person I’m designing for is looking for something different and follows their own trends.
And lastly, we’d love to know what’s next for Corey Moranis. Could you let us in on any sneaky peeks as to your next collection?
I will be releasing my Fall/Winter 2019 collection in September. The lookbook is really fun and I’m so excited to share that with everyone. A super sneaky peek is that I will also be releasing a limited-edition collection of hand-made marbled Lucite jewellery through my website. Each piece has its own unique marbling, which makes them truly one-of-a-kind. They’re also extremely colourful, which is the most exciting part for me!

Peach Doble
Tom Newton

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