Olena Zylak knit her first sweater at age 17 and serendipitously discovered her calling in life.

Over the next few years she knit sweaters for virtually everyone she knew, and later began her professional career as a costume builder for large musical productions such as Ragtime, Showboat, Tommy and Fosse.

In the summer of 1997, Zylak moved on from the world of theatre to create her own knitwear line.

At the New Labels show, she received the Evelyn Dollery Award from the Fashion Group International.

Her costume experience nurtured her use of hand-worked techniques and attention to detail, which have become hallmarks of the Olena Zylak collection.

Zylak uses imported yarns in luxury fibres to create a highly textured line that is at once precious and fragile, as well as sexy and strong.

The Look

Zylak presented knits and sweaters made with natural wool yarn, kid mohair and baby alpaca. She created soft, cozy pieces in colors like butterscotch, mauve and celadon. Outstanding was an oatmeal colored merino wool cape with high funnel neck and delicate lace dress subtly adorned with glass and beads. Details taken from casual sportswear, drawstrings and hoods for example, were incorporated into many of the pieces. To complete the look, novel accessories such as fingerless knit gloves and thick wooly socks were used.

Who Wears It

Prince, Juliette Lewis, Olivia Newton-John, Natalie Cole,

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