Fueled by a love for fashion, Melanie’s career path brought her to Laura Canada after studying fashion design. She’s found the key to designing anything for anyone while staying on top of the latest trends.
What does a designer do?
Fashion designers do more than just design. We deal with the entire process, from conceptualizing to the finish product. This includes researching trends through travel & magazines, choosing fabrics, and being involved in all production aspects. However, our main focus is designing collections that appeal to our target market.
How did you choose to study fashion design in college?
For as long as I can remember, I‘ve always loved fashion. I sketched my first collection at age six during a family vacation. When the time came to choose a post-secondary school, I visited LaSalle College for their Culinary Arts program. My mother, who was accompanying me, noticed that they offered a fashion design program. At that moment her eyes instantly lit up, she turned to me and said: “When we’re shopping you always have an idea for an outfit but you can never find what you’re looking for, I think you should go into fashion!” So here I am today, still loving this vibrant industry. I guess it’s true mother’s do know best. Thanks mom!
What does a typical day look like?
The advantage of being a fashion designer is that every day is unique. I either focus on design, do garment fittings, research new fabrics, follow up on production, meet with the marketing team regarding campaigns, or conceptualize next season’s theme boards. I’m often working on many different seasons at once, so while I am finalizing the summer collection, I’m designing fall, and researching trends for the following spring.
You also teach fashion marketing at LaSalle College! How does it inspire your design process?
Throughout the years, working as a designer, I have acquired a great deal of experience. The opportunity to transmit my knowledge and passion to students eager to start their own career in fashion is truly inspiring. The fashion industry moves quickly and is always evolving, which makes staying on top of new trends along with the new generation of designers and/or buyers is imperative for my growth as a designer.
What has been your proudest career moment so far at Laura?
I started my career at Laura Canada working part-time during my studies at LaSalle College. I was a store coordinator and visual presentation clerk. Upon graduation, I was promoted to assistant designer at head office to work on the company’s newly established in-house label. Soon after, I became a designer. My proudest career moment at Laura Canada was working my way up to the position I currently hold. Having experienced different positions throughout the company has played a big part in helping me become the designer I am today.
What has been your biggest challenge in your role?
As a fashion designer, I face many challenges daily. From selecting the right fabrics to meeting tight deadlines – or even handling production issues. But my biggest challenge will continually be anticipating my customer’s needs. I design what my customer will want to wear a year before she even knows what she wants.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in design?
1. The key to being a great designer, above all, is understating your target market. Once you know that inside-out, you can design anything for anyone!
2. Always be passionate about what you do. Never lose the spark that made you fall in love with the industry.
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
2018 will be year for innovation and creativity. We are working on a few new projects that I am very excited about!
1. Who is your go to person for advice at Laura?
I don’t have a go to person, at Laura we truly work as a team.
2. What is your favorite colour?
I would say black, even though it’s not really a colour. I also like red.
3. Who is your favourite designer?
I have so many! At the top of my list are Dolce & Gabbana, Zac Posen, Zuhair Murad & Valentino.
4. Your favorite clothing item from Laura/Melanie Lyne?
I love all styles from Laura, but mostly dresses and blouses are my go-to pieces.
5. Who is your style icon/biggest inspiration?
Olivia Palermo. She has definitely mastered the art of mixing & matching pieces and always manages to make everything look impeccable!
6. Where are you going on your next vacation?
No vacation planned just yet, but I would love to go somewhere hot where I can relax by the ocean!