Get to Know Rightful Owner
Calling Montreal home, womenswear brand Rightful Owner was contrived from founder Rose McMahon’s desire to recreate the same excitement of dressing up that she enjoyed as a child. That young girl created outfits as an act of love, with no understanding of what was considered cool, chic, or sexy. Dressing up was limitless and it was beautiful. Rightful Owner takes that same concept of playful, over-the-top clothing and makes it accessible for everyday wear. Learn firsthand what creating a collection during the pandemic meant for McMahon below.
This collection was really interesting to make because I started working it about eight months before it was finished. Lockdown and the daycares closing really stalled my progress, but in a way this allowed me to make something that was really thought out. I gathered fabric for months, putting all the patterns together—and while this is really one of my favorite parts about being a small independent designer, it's also one of the most difficult. I don't have the budget or even the know how to buy the exact fabric that I want, so I am forced to be resourceful and check different places to find deadstock and vintage fabrics that will work for what I am trying to create. This also allows me to be more environmental and to "make do," as my grandmother always did.
I try to connect with my grandmother and great grandmother as much as possible while I am creating. It has made me want to push myself in my design abilities for everyday clothing. I come from a long line of fairly modest, if not poor, housewives that worked incredibly hard—I don’t think my generation can even imagine how hard they probably worked. So while, personally, I’m always drawn towards really fantastical things, I am constantly battling with wanting to feel beautiful while also being practical. I have to take care of my one- and three-year-olds. The laundry, dishes, lockdown, and covid, all these make it really difficult to wear extravagant clothing. This meeting of worlds is a really great challenge for me.
My heart will always be rooted in the extravagant and the impractical, but if I can bring that into the world of ordinary clothing, maybe I can make something that is both more inclusive and, in a way, more beautiful. As a result, this collection truly encompasses my ideas of femininity and womanhood in combination with my needs as a modern woman and mother for comfort and accessibility.