Angie Tingas-Proteau and Mike Proteau are the inseparable duo behind Canadian-made jewelry line Niki & Lola. These east side-Toronto darlings started their collection not too long ago, but have already seen their designs grace the pages of some top-tier fashion magazines and the models at some top-tier fashion shows. Find out more about this creative duo in today’s Tastemaker feature…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
We are the married design team behind fashion jewelry label Niki & Lola. Some people like to refer to us as High School Sweethearts because I was 16 and Mike was 19 when we first started dating. We are also parents to some pretty awesome girls.
Why did you decide to get into the art of jewelry making?
Angie: After a trip to LA and figuring out how to blend our personal talents, we decided a metal heavy jewellery line was something we had to create.
What’s the inspiration behind the name?
Honestly, our daughters. They inspire us to be cool parents, we hope we can be inspiration to them, too.
What inspires you the most when you’re designing your pieces?
Angie: We pick themes, we always have. We love geometry… You’ll always find a clean geometric line in our collection. But upcoming Fall is very British Punk inspired. Our personalities are very different so we bring a lot of different elements to the table when designing a new collection.
Mike: I like to think of architecture and how things are built.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s home. We are both born and raised East Enders.
Mike: I was born and raised… “on the playgrounds where I spend most of my days.”
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
Angie: My kids, my phone, and chocolate coffee.
Mike: My family, my coffee, and things that have motors in them.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Angie: Asia de Cuba in West Hollywood (their lobster mash is to die for); in Toronto the Gabardine has awesome steak frites; we eat often in Leslieville and the Danforth as we live between both… So lucky to be between awesome food hubs.
Mike: Asia de Cuba for me too… the food was absolutely delicious.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
Angie: The white wine sangria at Swirl Wine Bar in Leslieville… You must go there.
Mike: I like it simple. Wherever they serve Vodka and Cranberry.
Who’s your favourite designer/brand (aside from your own) and why do you sport their fashions?
Angie: I have a soft spot for Joie and Elizabeth and James shoes. I like my handbags Canadian, Jessica Jensen, Ela. But when we design, it’s all about the luxury of Tom Ford or Gucci.
Mike: If I’m not in motorcycle gear, I’m a total contradiction in Banana Republic, Club Monaco or Zara.