Editorial Note: This month, in advance of NYFW and World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept 10, 2020, and in conjunction with Mikeysline in the Scottish Highlands, FWO is featuring outstanding young designers with a focus on mental health and wellness.
Self-Reflection: Emily Ann’s Designs
Emily Ives is a 17-year-old fashion designer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. A dance student at the age of 4, she says she’s always loved how “what we wear can transform the way we look at ourselves.”
At 10 years she developed health issues that made it impossible for her to participate in many of the activities she loved, including dance. That’s when she really started focusing on design as a form of self-expression and art.
Emily Ann’s Designs
“For 8 years I have been mentored by a sewing instructor to improve my skills and knowledge about design, pattern drafting, and construction. Since 2016 I have been working under my own brand, Emily Ann’s Designs, to create and share collections that express my journey.
Throughout this time, I have developed a drive to create pieces that are sustainable and do the least amount of harm to the environment, because I believe art should never take away from the beautiful earth.
I also strive to create a more inclusive industry where everyone feels represented and heard. My goal for my future is to continue to create meaningful garments, attend a design institute, and eventually work within the fashion industry.”
Q: What sparked your interest in fashion?
I have always loved fashion. I was a creative child who loved sketching and putting together outfits. Around the age of 8 I got my first sewing machine, and with my mentor’s assistance, started learning the process of designing, pattern drafting, and constructing garments.
I think I have always been drawn to fashion because it can be so emotional and self expressive. I was very much inspired to pursue fashion when I started researching its history, specifically of couture and the craftsmanship involved.
Q: As a designer, what matters to you most?
What I value most as a designer has evolved over time. At times I find fashion can feel very impersonal or contrived and, as a designer, I value the process of being creative and emotional. I appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that is involved in creating a design with an impactful statement while focusing on its effect on the environment.
Q: Who do you envision as your core customer?
I design for anyone looking for timeless pieces that make customers feel special, and in which they can see themselves reflected. When designing my pieces, I like to use classic styles and shapes mixed with unique details to create something that connects emotionally with the customer. Since I see fashion as a type of art, my pieces are meant to be worn countless times.
Q: What is your vision for the future?
I hope the fashion industry continues to shift towards a more ethical and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued. Personally, I would like to further study how the fashion industry, and myself, can be more sustainable by using thoughtful craftsmanship in all aspect of the design processes.