Marilyn Brooks, C.M., O.Ont.
Fashion Designer, Retailer, Mentor, Author

Marilyn Brooks, O.Ont.

Marilyn Brooks, O.Ont.

Few designers have impacted the Canadian fashion industry and endeared themselves to such a loyal following from across Canada as has Marilyn Brooks. The Marilyn Brooks label distinguished itself with clothing and accessory designs for women that were edgy, fun, colourful and avant-garde for their time. An artist at heart, Marilyn’s designs often included her own original prints.

Celebrating over 40 fashionable years as one of Canada’s most renowned designers and media personalities, Brooks pioneered the concept of managing a vertical fashion business as a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer.

Following her entrepreneurial instincts, in 1963, she established Canada’s first innovative and highly successful series of boutiques across Canada called the Unicorn, and later established the equally successful Marilyn Brooks Boutiques in both Canada and the United States.

Brooks has also made the time for significant contributions to both Canada’s fashion industry and to her community. Marilyn Brooks founded the Toronto Ontario Designers (TOD) in 1978 – the groundbreaking association formed to promote Toronto fashion designers, later evolving to Designers Ontario (DO), then Fashion Designers Council of Canada (FDCC), and finally Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC). Mentor to many young designers and a fundraiser for numerous charitable organizations, Marilyn Brooks has received a long list of awards, acknowledgements and honours recognizing her work, including the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

The highlights of Marilyn’s four fashionable decades have been captured in her memoir Behind the Seams,  released in 2017.