freed winnipeg
Photography by Vai Yu.

Winnipeg-based Brand Freed Will Launch a ‘Mommy & Me’ Collection This Weekend

Its parent company is also making masks for frontline workers and the public.

This might surprise you, but the #shoplocal movement in Canada isn’t an entirely new sentiment. For 100 years, Freed & Freed has been a manufacturing mainstay in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The family-operated business has an eponymous outerwear brand that was created by the fourth-generation president of the company, Marissa Freed, and this weekend it will launch an adorable faux fur-focused collection for parents and their littles.

“[The collection] was an obvious next step that fit in perfectly with the relaunch of the faux fur line,” says Freed about the selection of pastel and neutral-hued coordinating coats; and the inspiration for the pieces was fittingly close to home. “My daughter is now three-and-a-half and loves to wear dresses, make-up and party shoes,” says Freed. “A luxe faux fur jacket was all she needed to complete the ensemble.”

Photography by Vai Yu.

Freed has likely found herself with much more time for encouraging dress up since her hectic schedule ground to a halt with COVID-19. “In a normal year I am on a plane at least a few times a month and sometimes it means I don’t get to see my kids as much as I would like,” she says about what this upcoming Mother’s Day means to her. “While COVID-19 has given me the opportunity to spend some amazing time with my kids, it’s never enough. So, like all moms out there, I am just looking forward waking up, having brunch with my kids and spending the day together.”

A sense of togetherness has crossed over into Freed’s work as well, with Freed & Freed stepping up to provide manufacturing resources for those trying to get PPE into the hands of those who need it most; to date, the company has provided almost 50,000 n95 masks. “I quickly realized that my supply chain connections both domestically and internationally could be invaluable at a time like this,” says Freed. “When the pandemic struck, I began to think about how I could help, so I reached out to my contacts and was quickly able to bring in some n95 masks to help Knix, a wonderful brand, to fulfill its promise to get masks to front line workers.”

Imagery courtesy of Freed & Freed.

Freed now offers a line of washable masks for the masses as well—the styles are emblazoned with emojis and phrases to add a bit of positivity to a dire situation. It’s a philosophy that serves every aspect of Freed’s creative output. “When you look around at your neighbours, your community, and what is going on globally, it’s not all doom and gloom,” she notes. “While this pandemic has destroyed too many lives, there has also been pockets of hope and inspiration. You think about the people playing music on their balconies for their neighbours or the creative ways parents are keeping their children busy, and you feel inspired. That inspiration can come in all forms; for me, it’s the drive to design products that will make people feel good.”