Interview with Jennifer Masabni!
Founded in the Fall of 2010, Masabni is a fresh and feminine clothing line designed and produced in Montreal, Canada. With a background in both fashion design and business, Jennifer Masabni created the perfect foundation to start her own collection.
We had the opportunity to ask Jennifer a few questions after she recently popped into our Montreal showroom!
Your interest in fashion started at a very young age, what was your biggest influence at that time?
My imagination and the world around me. I wasn’t aware of what was going on in the Fashion world when I realized my first sketches. I just liked to imagine how a person would dress to look good, from clothes to shoes, purses and even umbrellas.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I was always drawn to designing clothes since I was 11 years old (that was when I drew my first sketch), but it was when I entered Lasalle College to learn more about Fashion Design that I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do. I organized a few fashion shows outside of school projects while I was studying. TÉLIO was a sponsor of the first fashion show I ever organized at the age of 18, showcasing the talent of fellow Lasalle classmates including my first mini-collection.
You used a lot of TÉLIO fabrics in your collection, what do you like most about TÉLIO?
I like the wide selection you offer, from the fancies to the basics, in an environment that is well organized and welcoming. I also like that it is very current and follows international trends. It’s also important that I can always find the fabrics I use in my sample collection when comes time for production, something I never had any problems with when ordering from TÉLIO.
How do you go about selecting the fabrics you will use for you collections, and what was the inspiration behind your spring collection?
I start by finding a focus in my collection that gives a feel to the season, which is then developed into sketches, boards, cuts, silhouettes, colours. All these elements will guide me in my fabric research. Sometimes, when I really like a fabric I will reverse the process and create styles based on that particular material that inspired me. I make sure the textures and colours all have a place in the collection to create a coherent image and something women can easily identify to.
The inspiration behind Spring / Summer 2014 is a play in silhouettes inspired by modern architecture and the fast life of working societies combined with the serene yet exotic and wild nature of the Amazon. This is reflected in a softer palette from light oranges, salmons and light dusty blues.
Here is a sneak peek of some items from the Masabni Spring Summer 2014 Collection, available in stores at the end of the month.
What is your favorite TÉLIO fabric and why?
I don’t have only one but I do have specific fabrics that I am drawn to every year depending on the season’s direction. The past 2 winter collections it was TÉLIO’s silks’ selection, The summer season was all about TÉLIO’s cottons’ selection, now it’s the PDR assortment TÉLIO offers, which is a very popular fabric in my collections. I like quality fabrics that feel soft on the skin and value women’s shapes.
What is your favorite aspect of the business?
I like all aspects of the business because I love a challenge and to continuously learn new things, but I would say what’s on top of the list is everything that has to do with designing, marketing and business development.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in architecture, various types of art, fabrics, textures, travels and overall trends which are all elements that influence the majority of my collections.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
With an incredible team, network and customers that will move the company to international levels offering a lifestyle brand adapted to the evolving life of the modern woman.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Zaha Hadid because I admire her work and avant-garde approach to creating buildings and spaces. Also, being a women of influence and accomplishment, I’d love to pick her brain and learn from her experiences and vision.
I’d also like to collaborate with Moment Factory because of their creative mind and vision which brings new, innovative and out of the ordinary experiences to our lives. I would definitely like to infuse this type of visual fantasy with my brand and I think it’s amazing that such a great company is from Montreal.
If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be instead?
I can’t imagine being anything else, but I guess since a lot of my inspiration comes from architecture I would probably say an architect.
Tell us in short what a typical day for you looks like.
I don’t think an entrepreneur ever has a typical day, which is one of the reasons why I opted for this lifestyle. There is always a new goal to tackle everyday: a new venture, explore a new market, create new contacts and collaborations.
I wake up, get coffee, look at my emails, go through what’s happening in the social media world of Fashion (trends, news, influencers, competition, etc). Everyday varies; sometimes I am on the road running errands, meeting clients, potential partners etc. While other days I am focused on a range of things, from patternmaking, creating inspiration boards and style testing, to organizing a marketing stunt, working on the brands’ strategies and goals, production planning and internal operations.
Being a fashion designer can be quite stressful at times, how do you decompress after a hectic day?
I am still trying to figure out how to balance everything since I am never disconnecting, the adrenaline rush always keeps me going, but quality time with my family and close ones or reading a good book usually help me decompress.
Give a word of advice to young aspiring designers that you wished you were given when you started out?
Learn your market and target clientele inside and out, create a strong network, develop your brand to know your strengths and focus on what you are really good at. And most importantly don’t ever ever give up, even in the real lows, results come in the long term, obstacles and difficulties are part of the game, passion is what keeps you going!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, we can’t wait to see what other great TÉLIO fabric appears in your collections in season’s to come! Masabni was also featured in this month’s FASHION Magazine as you can see in the image above!