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Sara Gourlay “Day in The Life” with On — gravitypope Community Series

We recently caught up with Vancouver based designer, creative director and brains behind upcycled label “Frankie Collective”, Sara Gourlay. She takes us through a “Day in the Life” in her favourite On shoes. From a morning run and a hike through North Van, to a meeting over coffee and working in the studio, Sara shows us how the Swiss-engineered runners fit perfectly into her daily routine.

Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from and what do you do? 

My name is Sara Gourlay and I am from Vancouver, Canada. I am an outdoors enthusiast and am the Creative Director of Frankie Collective. 

Can you tell us about Frankie, how did it get started?

I was connected to Drew and Jesse Heifetz of F as in Frank Vintage in 2014. They are the largest sourcers of vintage clothing in Canada and had two flagship stores in Vancouver and Toronto and an online men’s vintage site. They were looking to get into the womenswear space, as there was a huge gap in the market at that time. I was selling vintage and up cycling clothing, so we came together and launched Frankie Collective.

What is your process or approach to apparel design? Specifically, your interest in up-cycling and use of vintage clothing?

Upcycling takes something old and turns it into something new. For Frankie, upcycling means altering existing garments to add value and extend the product’s life cycle while creating unique 1 of 1 pieces. We see design as a solution to utilize textile waste. Our up-cycling design process differs from traditional fashion in the sense that we are utilizing clothing and material that already exists, so we start with sourcing. We look at what is abundant that is headed to the landfill, and find creative solutions that best utilize that material. 

What is an average day in the life for you? 

I start my days off with movement. Most days of the week you can find me training at House Concepts. I spend mornings at Hunney Bee and then am working at our office with the Frankie team. I love evening runs around the Sea Wall or hikes on the North Shore.  

What are some of your favourite projects? 

This winter we worked with Adidas to help launch their giveback program. We created reworks for a pop-up in New York where people traded in their old clothing as currency. Another favourite recently was working with Nike to make reworks for Billie Eilish.

Any exciting projects coming up?

We’re excited to launch our second cut and sew collection this fall. It’s been a long process creating relations with ethical factories and sourcing sustainable and deadstock fabrics. 

How do running and fitness fit into your daily routine? 

Being active is essential in my daily routine now. I had some major body limitations due to a shoulder surgery, so the forced shutdown from covid gave me the space to start healing. I started with yoga and running. I then spent the winter in LA and was introduced to Undefeated’s gym UACTP. That’s where I got mobility back from functional strength training and now incorporate that into my day to day.

You’ve been splitting your time between Los Angeles and Vancouver, what are some of the things you miss when you are away from home? 

During the wet winter months, there’s not much I miss lol. But there is nowhere more beautiful than Vancouver in the warmer months. I love how access to nature is just a step away. How you can climb a mountain and then in a short time be swimming in the ocean. 

Where are some of your favourite places to hike or trail run? 

I love trail running around Lynn Valley. The Chief is my go-to hike, the view of the inlet from the top never gets old. There are so many great hikes around Squamish though. Taking a dip in the surrounding lakes or at Lions Bay on the way home makes for the perfect day.

What pair of On shoes are you currently wearing the most? And what do you like most about them? 

I’m currently sessioning the Cloudventure. We’ve had such a wet spring so I love that they are waterproof. They are lightweight and have great traction which makes them perfect for trail running. 


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