Designer Spotlight: People’s Choice Jen Cameron!
Vancouver-based designer Jen Cameron first became interested in fashion after stumbling upon her grandmother’s 1949 Singer sewing machine. From there, the rest was history!
Jen honed her design talents at the Vancouver Community College (VCC)’s Fashion Arts diploma program. Her flare for fashion quickly caught notice, and before long she was featured in several local fashion shows. Her graduating collection was inspired by the Japanese style of art known as the “Floating World.” The collection featured intricate Japanese cherry blossom prints, bows, and hand detailing. Before the collection showed, Jen gave it an air of authenticity by joining her father on a business trip to Japan and shooting her pieces with a Tokyo-based model and photographer.
Following graduation, Jen was honored by being invited to participate in Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW)’s international design competition. She impressed the audience so much, she won the People’s Choice Award. She was the only Vancouver-based designer recognized with this distinction. Selections from her collection were also shown at VFW’s New Generation Showcase during the 2010 Olympic games. Jen showed another full line of clothing for the Spring 2010 VFW, inspired by birds of prey. The collection’s pieces featured feathers and black silk.
Jen’s designs are wearable, but with an underlying edginess. She manages to create contemporary garments that retain a strong classic feel… the type everyone needs in their closet. Pieces from her Fall 2010 line are versatile; easily able to shift from professional attire to eveningwear. With a dominating black and white color scheme, her line will flatter all women and almost all occasions. Jen Cameron Collection is definitely one to watch for ready-to-wear looks that compliment and enhance any fashionista’s wardrobe!
Here’s my interview with the talented Jen:
Fashion lets everyone be creative every day. It’s the thing that makes us all individuals. It allows us to show part of our personality without saying or doing anything. Fashion, in some ways defines us because it’s what we choose to show to the world.
2. What drew you to fashion, and specifically to starting your own line?
My grandmother was a Home Economics teacher and although I never got to meet her I always felt that her skills in sewing were somewhere inside of me. I found her old singer sewing machine one day when I was still in high school and realized I could create anything I wanted to wear.
After I received my diploma in Fashion Arts I wasn’t completely sure what to do next. Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) contacted me and encouraged me to enter their first ever International Design Completion. I entered and tied for “People’s Choice” and got a chance to show a full collection of 15 looks at VFW last spring. That’s what led me to starting my own line, a great opportunity. Hopefully there are more great opportunities in my future.
3. Who or what inspires your designs?
I’ve had lots of different inspirations for my clothing. My graduating collection from Vancouver Community college consisted of five outfits inspired by Japanese art known as “the Floating World”. It featured cherry blossom print and Japanese inspired silhouettes. My last collection was inspired by birds of prey and included feather details and a print that reminded me of feathers.
The three “F’s” I use to describe my collection:
flattering, feminine, fun.
5. What is the most challenging part of being a designer?
Taking criticism and making it constructive. Clothing is so personal and it’s inevitable that not everyone is going to like what I design. That doesn’t mean that I’m not cut out for the business, just that I need to find my customer and make them happy.
6. What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
In the first year at Vancouver Community college we got to make two garments that were made to fit us. I made a denim and Japanese floral print skirt that I’m still in love with.
7. Describe your personal style.
I like clothing that is figure flattering and colorful. I strive to look put together but comfortable.
Floral fabric has always been my favorite trend. It can be worn so many different ways and it adds a level of interest to an outfit.
9. In your opinion, what is the biggest fashion faux-pas?
When someone doesn’t try to look good. The way someone dresses affects the way they go through life. People always say how important a first impression is and I believe clothing is a big part of that.
10. What do you think is the most underrated item of clothing or accessory?
I don’t think women wear dresses enough. They are so easy! People always think you look nice. I think dresses are more comfortable than jeans.
11. Where do you see yourself as a designer in five years?
My clothing will be available in the US and Canada as well as online. All the pieces will still be made locally, in Vancouver.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
If you want to own your own business, take some business courses. I just started mine and I already think I’m way better off because of it. If you want to work for someone else get as much work experience as possible.
13. Where can readers buy your clothing?
You can buy my clothing by emailing me directly right now, but I hope to get an online store running soon.