Sonja den Elzen wants to provide the means for us to steal back our sense of self and express our individuality through style, which is why she chose to name her line Thieves. Ethically committed to sustainability, Thieves uses eco friendly fabrics and organic textures, while masterfully integrating draping and tailoring with a very designed aesthetic.
Her influence is found in friends, art, politics, animations, great designers, architecture, social interaction, ecology, the human body and its movement, nature and the beauty that exists in life. Born to a Dutch father and Scottish mother, Sonja learned to sew at a young age from the skillful hands of her mother. After studying aviation and interior design, she launched her first fashion label, Jy Stijls — high end Canadian street wear inspired by the dj music scene of the time. The line was sold internationally, throughout Canada, USA, Europe and Japan until 2002, when she decided it was time for a break and took off, traveling through India and Europe.
Once back, Sonja, along with two fellow artists, formed the Crème de la Crème Crew, a group that brought artists and designers together in Toronto by organizing shows incorporatingtheir artistic talents with music and warm atmospheres. By putting up to 50 different artists and designers in one space, artists were given the opportunity to expand their audience base, sell and promote their work. Then, during the latter part of 2005, Sonja decided to return to the world of design with her own label, and Thieves was born.
Spring Summer 2010 will be the seventh season for the line. Sustainable fabrics such as hemp blends, tussah silks, organic wools, organic cottons, lyocell, bamboo, peace silk, tencel, vegetable tanned leather and soy are used and all pieces are conceived and assembled in Toronto. Thieves boutique showcases the house line, Thieves, as well as other designers who are working in the realms of sustainable design, currently the store carries Heartfelt, League of Lovers, Carga, and Ashley Watson.
Though I would make space for almost everything in this line in my cramped closet, I will be dreaming of the amazing Siberian top (shown above and at top) for a good while. The white chunky knit, the sweet yet tough sculptural sleeves… such a good mix of attitude and consciousness. I may just have to whip out some Canadian dollars and steal my style back.