Designer Christopher Bates is making waves in the world of menswear. Hailing from Vancouver, now based in Toronto Christopher is making strides to becoming a household name in menswear. We caught up with Christopher at his trunk show at the prestigious department store Holt Renfrew where his collection has recently been picked up.
What compelled you to create your menswear line?
I’ve been passionate about fashion since I was a child. By the time I was 13 I had a sketchbook full of designs. Growing up in Vancouver, I wasn’t aware of the fashion industry or that it was a viable career. It wasn’t until I did a couple tours of Europe that I realized there were people out there who would appreciate my designs. When I was 26 I decided to pursue my passion and I moved to Milan to study fashion design at Istituto Marangoni.
How would you describe your collection?
Contemporary tailored menswear with a European flare.
Where is your collection manufactured?
Canada, Italy, Columbia, and Peru.
How has your relocation from Vancouver to Toronto helped your business?
Toronto is really the epicentre for fashion in Canada. Even when I lived in Vancouver I was doing more sales and press in Toronto so it was a natural step. Since relocating my business has really taken off. Toronto is an emerging fashion capital with a bright future.
What is your favourite piece in the current collection?
Navy digital camo trousers.
We love the lipstick marked shirt. Has this been a popular seller?
This has been one of my best sellers. Most of my retailers order it and I also produce a lot of them for custom clients. One of my clients has 25 of them!
Congratulations on your collection now being available in Holt Renfrew. Do you think of this as a milestone in your career?
Yes, getting picked up by Holt Renfrew has been the biggest breakthrough of my career.
What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer?
Believe in yourself, find a niche, and be prepared to work harder and longer than you could ever fathom.
What’s next for the Christopher Bates brand?
I’m currently going to production on my Fall/Winter 2014 orders and designing my Spring/Summer 2015 collection. I’m also working on a few collaborations which I’m really excited about.
For more information on Christopher Bates, visit christopherbates.com
Photos by Viranlly