Canada’s Breakthrough Designers Finalist Q & A: Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Since Tuesdays are now synonymous with Q&A’s of our CBD finalists on TÉLIO TEXTURES, here we are with our second post, this time showcasing the 3 finalists from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond, British Columbia.
Why did you decide to participate in the TÉLIO Competition?
Télio is one of those competitions that you hear about pretty much before you’re even enrolled at Kwantlen. You see the older years working on the projects when you’re in first year, and for me that was really inspiring. When I was finally able to enter in second year, I jumped at the chance to challenge myself design wise and get to work with these fabrics. I immediately felt connected to the theme of “Textures” as I have recently taken an interest in fabric manipulation. I knew that if I became a finalist I would get a chance to showcase my design in Montreal, and get to take part in the fashion industry on a larger level than I had ever been before. Being able to get that exposure and connect with other designers is a unique opportunity you don’t often find yourself in when you’re just starting out.
What is/are your biggest aspiration(s) in life?
Right now, getting a degree in fashion design is one of my biggest aspirations. In the near future I’d love to work for a company that shares my eclectic and detail oriented style, as a designer, production manager or pattern maker. I aspire to have a fulfilling career that allows for creativity and travel. Eventually, I’d like to own my own design and production company, and prove that making things locally is a viable option. I hope to live a life and have a career in which I am always fulfilling my passion of working with fabrics. I don’t aspire to be famous, just to make a positive impact.
Where do you live and what do you love the most about your city?
I live in Richmond, which is where my school is, but generally I like to say that I live in Vancouver which is a short drive away. It’s great here because we get the best of everything. There is an amazing diversity of cultures that have congregated here, so the festivals, foods and shopping are fantastic. If we feel like being in the city, we go downtown. The forest? North Vancouver. We’re close to the best skiing, the best views, the best air and the best parks, all right near a densely populated city. I was born in Victoria, on Vancouver Island which is a short ferry ride away from Vancouver, which also offers the best of the west coast. I feel super fortunate to live in such a beautiful, peaceful and inspiring city.
Vintage or new?
I admit to being a little bit old fashioned, and a bit of an old soul. I adore vintage finds, and the ways of “the old days.” I enjoy listening to stories from seniors, something that most people my age don’t always get. The attention to detail, the fabrics and the cuts of clothes from the early 20th century just don’t shine a light to the fast fashion of today. “New” is great for innovative ideas and technologies, but there is something about an item with a story that draws me in in a way that new stuff just doesn’t.
Who/What is your biggest influence when designing?
My biggest influence when it comes to design would be architecture. I am always inspired by architecture and I believe it is reflected in my designs.
What has the TÉLIO competition taught you up to now?
So far the TÉLIO competition has taught me that prioritizing is crucial. I need to create my TÉLIO garment on top of school and work which has become a bit overwhelming. Time management is very important!
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Milan. It’s such a beautiful historic city with amazing architecture. I would move to Milan in an instant if I had the chance.
What is your favourite pastime?
Reading a book. Seems a bit boring but if I had all the time in the world I would read books and sip on wine. Oh, and travel!
Why did you choose Fashion Design?
When I was eleven, my mother taught me how to make a basic shirt with set-in sleeves and pants which inspired me to create clothes for friends and myself since then. I was also very interested in science, which led me to pursue a degree in Biology after high school. I would always find myself rushing to finish my chemistry homework to start creating the dress I had been dreaming about all day. Learning about the program at Kwantlen and the success people were having in the industry gave me the courage to make a 180 degree turn and pursue what I was so passionate about. I’ve never worked so hard, yet I don’t notice the endless hours spent as the work is so satisfying and rewarding.
Who/What do you aspire to be like in your fashion career?
I admire the designers who are able to create beautiful clothing out of any materials. As the world is growing and resources are diminishing, my dream is to create a brand that will always be experimenting with new materials and inspire others to come up with creative solutions as well.
What is your chief design characteristic?
Many of my pieces are timeless; I hope to share the feeling of putting on that perfect garment that makes you feel like you can take on the world.
What is your pet peeve?
Complainers! Life is fantastic, enjoy it!
Join us next week, same time, same place for our Seneca College finalist!