Lyse Spenard is a designer of women’s ready-to-wear whose affordably priced creations have always targeted women over 40. She is the head of the BYLYSE SPENARD brand, which specializes in wrinkle-resistant, easy-care knitwear. Designed for travel, the brand’s casual chic pieces can be mixed and matched for optimal versatility.
BYLYSE SPENARD collections are sold in over 500 stores across Canada and the United States. Headquartered on St. Lawrence Boulevard in Montreal, the company produces its clothing in Canada and Asia.
After graduating in fashion merchandising from Montreal’s LaSalle College in 1979, Lyse Spenard began her career as a buyer at Holt Renfrew, where she had worked part-time as a sales associate during her studies. In 1985, Spenard and Stanley Kitman became partners in a new company, Stanlyse, a showcase for her design talents. Production was initially based in Montreal but then relocated to Asia. In 1994, Lyse Spenard took over as sole owner of the company. Under her management, Stanlyse expanded its commercial presence as she began designing and mass-producing products accessible to a wide customer base. Her brand was sold in up to 300 stores in North America, with annual sales of $15 million.
In the mid-1990s, the designer and businesswoman was a member of the board of the Association professionnelle des designers de mode du Québec (APDMQ). She also received an honorary degree from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal (HEC).
In 1999, Lyse Spenard shut down her Montreal company and joined the team of Mr. Jax in Vancouver, where she managed the apparel manufacturer’s casual clothing division for four years. She returned to Montreal in 2003 to manage the Officiel boutiques of Tristan & America for two years and supervise the development of house brand products.
In 2005, Lyse Spenard founded the BYLYSE brand with Hammax (Hong Kong) Limited, a company that produces private labels for various retailers, as it wished to launch its own womenswear label specifically for the North American market. For the next 12 years, she divided her time between Asia, Canada and the United States, developing the brand. In 2017, she left Hammax to continue marketing her brand, now under the name BYLYSE SPENARD, with Canadian company Sportcraft International Inc.
As of 2019, BYLYSE SPENARD collections were not sold in any branded stores. However, Lyse Spenard does allow independent retailers that exclusively sell her clothing in their stores or shop-in-shop spaces the right to use the brand name.
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Madeleine Goubeau, Contributor