Creator and fashion designer, Valérie Canuel takes us behind the scenes of her studio in Lac-Humqui, Matapédia, by showing us the underside of her job and her daily life. Behind each piece of clothing signed VALERIE C. hides a long creative process. You will discover it through this small incursion into the life of the designer.
Inspired by its surroundings
VALERIE C. draws her inspiration both from her participation in fashion events and from the “fashion shows” which she watches assiduously. For the Fashion Design and Marketing graduate, it is essential to be innovative in creating clothes that are adjustable and comfortable for a large number of silhouettes.
“I ask myself the questions: what could well be added to my current clothing line? What does my client want? What colors inspire me right now? ", she says. She also admits to being influenced by everything around her, including the opinion of those close to her.
At its beginnings, the brand VALERIE C. had an inventory of three pieces of clothing. It was while discussing with her mother in the workshop that the idea of a reversible tank top came to her. “While I was racking my brains about choosing the color of the fabric, my mother suggested to me the idea of making a reversible tank top. I kept her idea! After 5 or 6 prototypes and dozens of fitting sessions with my models, I managed to create what I wanted. »
When spontaneity and discipline go hand in hand
The VALERIE C. workshop is divided into three distinct parts, namely the production department where the main equipment is located: sewing machine, serger, industrial iron, etc. Another part of the workshop is more dedicated to product development: this is where we find, among other things, the fabric cutting table.
In a typical day, Valérie is mainly required to work in her office: answering emails, doing the accounting, finalizing orders, checking the inventory of clothes, planning VALERIE C.'s publications on social platforms, and more. “Often, I start my days around 8 a.m. and end them in the evening, around 6 p.m.”, she admits. "Not a day is alike."
The creative and fashion designer usually starts her busy days with a good coffee, sometimes outside the studio with her dogs when the weather allows her. She then takes the time to plan her day and think about the ideas to develop, both for her clothes and at the marketing level, since a large part of her job consists of ensuring good visibility for her brand on social networks.
When she is in a “design mood”, Valérie admits to having unexpected moments of inspiration, which leads her to create more spontaneously. “If we talk about creativity, it's often at improbable moments that I have the best 'flash', like during my travels, on the road too, as I do a lot of driving. That's why I say I'm more creative in my free time than at work. It's often when I least expect it that I have the best ideas,” reveals the entrepreneur.
“For creation, I am rather spontaneous. For design, development and production, I am very disciplined. »
The steps of creation
As inspiration comes before anything else, Valérie then takes the step of materializing her ideas through drawing , producing sketches on paper. "I put my ideas on paper. When I have found the “good idea” I develop the technical sheets. Then, I make the pattern and the prototyping in order to obtain THE perfect garment."
The pattern part makes it possible to go from 2D to 3D, from the drawing to the first prototype which is sewn on a temporary fabric for testing purposes. This is where Valérie's design talents come into play.
Once the garment has been created and labeled, it will be ready for sale. All the clothes of the VALERIE C. brand are the subject of a photo shoot. The selected images are published on the VALERIE C. transactional website and used for promotional purposes.
2. Technical sheets
3. Choice of fabrics and supplies
4. Initial pattern and prototypes
5. Pattern corrections and fitting
6. Declined in different sizes
7. Cutting and sewing
9. Photoshoot and marketing
From the idea, to the drawing, to the marketing
Think fashion differently
VALERIE C. thinks of fashion differently, in particular by using silhouettes to illustrate the size of her clothes, or by her desire to decentralize the Quebec fashion industry. By establishing her business in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, the young businesswoman was aware that it was an additional challenge, considering that the core of Quebec fashion is located mainly in Montreal.
“Launching my company in my native village, I would say that it was above all a dream opportunity that presented itself to me. Everything was aligned for me to launch my business here. It is certain that this causes me to go back and forth to Montreal several times each year. However, what I like about our region is that the entrepreneurial community is supported and really well supported by local organizations. We are a great community that supports each other and that's what I've always liked about us. It's like a big family,” she concludes.
Article written by Carolanne D'Astous P. from Complice Numérique