First Monday of the month of March is here 2 and a half weeks to Spring!!!!!!!!!! (but not in Canada cause it is still snowing). Anyway our designer in the hot seat this Monday is Kawartha Lakes, Ontario and Canadian based designer Alanna Klatt of Klatt designs. I contacted Alanna after seeing pictures of her fashion show at the Ottawa Fashion Week SS 2015 just last month and this is how it went on:
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? What are your general professional and non-professional interests?
My name is Alanna Klatt. I am a designer based out of The Kawartha Lakes, here in Ontario. I attended Toronto’s best, The Academy of Design, and graduated with honours and received Valedictorian. My interests include a wide range of hobbies: obviously sewing! but I also love ice hockey, soccer, refinishing furniture and re-using recycled materials to create unique items, and cooking/ baking.
*What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is an opportunity for me to use my creativity and generate it in a way that allows me to reach out to those women who value comfort as an essential part of their everyday wardrobe. I want my brand to not only help my consumer feel great, comfortable, and in-style but also compliment their personality inside and out.
*How would you define your city’s fashion?
I live in a very small tourist town made up of only a few thousand people so the variety of fashion you see is a lot different opposed to a big city. Although the retail scene is small, Fenelon Falls has some great local shops to purchase great Canadian made clothing, gifts, and accessories, as well as, unique one-of’s! If you walked the streets during the busy summer months, you would see a variety of styles roaming the streets in Fenelon, everyone has their own spin!
*When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
To be honest, in grade 12 I had my applications and papers all ready to go for a 4 year nursing program. Not until the last couple of days before applications were due, did I make the choice to pursue Fashion as a career instead. Fashion had always been a big hobby but was pushed to the back of my head as a solid career choice. I’m a firm believer in going with choices in your life that you will always enjoy everyday and look forward to each morning, so that being said I’ve never looked back and am so blessed to wake up loving what I do! And I get to look forward to this for the rest of my life!
*What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
What I look forward to the most in this career is the events that showcase my final products. Not only are the events a blast and a little get-a-way from the long work hours put in, in the studio, but everything really comes together for me when I see each element put together (the hair, the make-up, and of course the clothes) I’m a very visual person so to see the end result always puts a massive smile on my face!
*what do u enjoy most about designing clothes?
The free range I have in designing is most enjoyable for me. I like the day trips to go look at fabrics, trims, etc and I love when I can just look anywhere and find inspiration and my mind can take off with millions of ideas from just one object/ picture ect.
*What kind of feedback did you get on your first collection?
For the most part, I got back great feedback on my first collection at Ottawa Fashion Week. I was ready for what ever publicity/ articles/ ect came. I’m prepared and know that I will not be able to please everybody at the same time and guess what? I’m totally okay with that! I’m confident in the work I do, and I have some great supporters and amazing people behind me, so if someone doesn’t like what I produce or is being critical, I understand that my brand won’t always be everyone’s number 1 and there is an exuberant amount of talent out there!
*Among your collections what is your most and least favorite ones? Your most sought out by buyers?
This is my first full collection being released to the industry. It only gets better from here because this is the time where I can learn – I can learn about things I loved, things I want to change, and each day I can see how I want to improve my brand. Only time will tell the favourites from my consumers and buyers. I’m looking forward to a time a couple seasons down the road when I can reflect back and I’m sure I will love each season equally! I should! I’m designing them!
*Do you have a specific research process when you start a new collection?
My research process doesn’t have a concrete plan – I don’t follow a set rule or anything of the sort. I do a bit of market analysis and trend research but the hope for the future is to branch out and use some of the fantastic trend forecasting services available in the market.
*Who inspires you the most in fashion? Anyone who stands out?
I admire many other brand in the fashion industry, too many to name! I’ve always loved Donna Karan’s aesthetic, as well as, my Toronto based designer friend Carissa McCaig of Copious! I love Canadian talent!
*Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
A big question! To keep it short, my 5 year plan is to continue growing and learning as an individual and brand. I want to establish my brand and reach out to various geographic markets, settle in a solid studio space, gain national recognition, and move up to another platform, like Mastercard Fashion Week, to showcase my collections!
*Any closing conclusions/advice to give our readers or future designers
Definitely a few things to say for future designers (exactly like myself)! Stay true to yourself and your aesthetic because those in the industry will truly appreciate the brands who aren’t afraid to step out and be real. And also don’t be discouraged in the beginning stages – these are your learning stages and it’s easy for a lot of things to go wrong, or not as planned. As you keep pushing forward to your success, you will be able to see the changes necessary to make the future processes more simple and easy!