Canadian Fashion Connection – Lola Leman

Little is known about this Canadian knitwear designer/retailer. Olga was born in Yugoslavia on July 29, 1924 and came to Canada with her family sometime before the mid 1950s when her mother opened a knitwear shop in Toronto. By 1980, Olga (professionally known as Lola) had taken over her mother’s boutique and had become known as one of Canada’s leading knitwear designers.

In 1980 her shop, at 55 Avenue Road, sold hand knit coats and suits upwards of $2,000. By 1985 she was known for her heavy knit and crochet ribbon two-piece dresses and three-piece suits. Her shop closed sometime in the 1990s, and was officially dissolved in 2006. Lola died on February 26, 2012 at the age of 87.

1985 Advertisement for Lola Leman, featuring one of her crochet ribbon dresses that she was known for.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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