Photo by Inta Klotins
Pascal Gagnon understands that success in fashion is first and foremost about business.
“Everything I do, I learned at school,” says the Telfer School of Management graduate. “Business is fashion and fashion is business.”
Now the creative director of his own fashion line, Alfred-Marcel, Gagnon always knew he was going to design something, although he wasn’t always sure what it would be.
“I love anything creative,” he says. “Be it fashion, music, photography, and architecture.”
Studying international management at the University of Ottawa, he learned the more analytical side of the fashion business, including marketing, human resources, and management. Instead of dreaming about one day owning a fashion line or working on someone else’s, he founded his line in 2010 and then worked hard to release his first collection in 2012.
Choosing to stay in Ottawa, he’s found “a lot of the media and attention goes to Montreal and Toronto. Ottawa gets forgotten about.”
Gagnon heard about Ottawa Fashion Week at a time when it was still small. He started attending while working on his label on the side, eventually showing his 2013 collection in the show.
His involvement last year with Her Campus’ Strut Away Lupus show made him want to participate in this year’s Catwalk for the Cure on Jan. 25 at the National Arts Centre. He says “anything done for students by students that raises money for a cause” is something he loves to be a part of.
The development of his collections start with a point of inspiration. His last one was inspired by summer colours — mostly lilacs and berry tones — while focusing on ‘60s-inspired silhouettes.
“I try to do a balance between really innovative and something that is everyday wearable,” he says.
He also doesn’t like to limit his clientele by targeting his pieces to a specific age group.
“I try to do a lot of clothes a lot of people in their 20s can wear, and a lot of people in their 40s can wear.”
Gagnon takes his fashion line seriously from a business perspective and for what clothes tell about the individual wearing them.
“I think the way you dress shows your style and personality,” he says. “If you try, then it gives a sort of idea that you want to try and do well.”
See Pascal Gagnon’s latest collection at Her Campus’ second annual charity fashion show Catwalk for the Cure on Jan. 25 at the National Arts Centre.