Tag Archives: vancouver designer

UWI Twins Fashion Label launch At Alfie Italia

By: Rachelle Lupton

cre·a·tiv·i·ty

The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of artistic work.

 un·der·dog

A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.

 Reuben and Levi Uwi were born in Rwanda in 1987 and after surviving the 1994 Rwanda Genocide they came to Vancouver to create a new home and a new life.  The twins spent years overcoming their defeat and pursuing an inner desire to move forward.  This October (on their birthday), they were able to see one of their many dreams come true by launching their U.T.F.L collection of well designed jackets, dresses and unisex tops at local Gastown boutique Alfie Italia.  The twins have overcome so much in their lives and have been seen as the underdog, but with their charismatic personalities, humble approach to life and creative minds, the pair is sure to prove any skeptic wrong.  We had a chance to meet the twins and talk to them about life, their label and what we can expect from them next.

 Being twin brothers how do you find working together?

 L: Being twins and business partners there is that personal line that you are treading.  But it works for us because we trust each other.  At the same time we might disagree on certain points, but if he is very passionate about what he is defending, then I’ll say let’s do it.

 What do you admire about each other?

L: He is very good at not hesitating in decision making.

R: His intuition.

 What or who is the biggest influence in your life?

L & R: Our mom!

R: She has always been an inspiration to me.  I see her working so hard and I think, “Hey, if she is working that hard then we should work that hard too”.

L: She is the example to us that pushes us.

 What would you say has been your greatest achievement?

L & R: Getting this brand up and running. But we also started a brand after high school, and getting into business right after that was challenging.  We were able to get our name out there and get our collection into Hudson’s Bay so that was a great point.  It was received so well and just because of that we have been able to get so much more attention and get ourselves featured in the Huffington Post.

Do you have any plans for the future?

L: Right now we are designing our next collection.  We want to get into other product lines like bags and shoes.

 What has been your favourite aspect about designing so far?

L: I guess just expressing ourselves and being able to tell our story through our label.  With our brand we have been able to share our story.

R: Also helping make people feel good.  We want people to feel good, it brings happiness to us when we see someone wearing one of our pieces happy.  We definitely want to empower people and give them confidence and inspire them with our clothing.

L: That’s what our brand is all about, we want to inspire the underdogs and let them know you can persevere.  Just like me and my brother.  We have gone through hardships and put them in the past.  We put our head downs and we powered through.  

 Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?

R: You’ve got to find your voice, and you’ve got to find yourself and tell your story from wherever you are.  If you know your vision and you know where you want to go, then you will find whatever means necessary to get to your goal.

L: Be true to yourself and don’t follow trends. Don’t give up if someone says no to you.  

www.uwitwinsfashion.com

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Event Images – Photo credit: Louise Uwacu

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WIN TWO TICKETS TO VANCOUVER FASHION WEEK

Vancouver Fashion Week

Who’s up for winning TWO TICKETS to VANCOUVER FASHION WEEK?  You are, well it’s simple really:

1.  Follow both VANFASHIONWEEK and NLASTYLIST on instagram.

2.  Check out the Vancouver Fashion Week website http://vanfashionweek.com and Coveting Chi Chi website http://covetingchichi.com to see which same designer will be showcasing their third collection in the s/s 2015 show and who has been interviewed by Coveting Chi Chi!          (Shhh, hint – this designer’s favourite quote might just be “Design is intelligence made visible”.

3.  Post your answer on NLASTYLIST’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/NLAStylist underneath this competition post.

4.  Competition lasts for 5 days and winning answers will be drawn from on Friday evening – giving you plenty time to organize your VFW outfit ;p

5.  Good luck!

Vancouver Personal Stylist Nicolette Lang-Andersen

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Evan Ducharme – Iconoclast F/W 14

Do Charm Me

By: Rachelle Lupton

 What better way to turn 22 then to have your first very own runway show?  For Evan Ducharme, that was made possible August 22 2014 when he launched his Fall/Winter 2014 line “Iconoclast”. With an elegant and rebellious feel, the models each donned in a headscarf or black bobbed wig, strutted ten unisex and women’s looks down the runway.  After returning to the runway for one last time, the girls finished off by perching themselves on beautiful vintage furniture, just like a setting from the Victorian Era.  After the show was over, we got a chance to head backstage and talk one-on-one with the talented designer.

Evan Ducharme

Evan Ducharme

Images: Ken Cheng

 What was your inspiration behind this collection?

I’ve always been obsessed with the film sunset boulevard starring Gloria Swanson, an aging silent film star trying to break her way into talk films. She’s working against something she doesn’t really know about, so she just is trying to understand it.  At the same time I was watching Metropolis and they just sort of meshed.  It’s about Norma Desmond’s contemporaries and what they thought the future was going to be like.  Norma Desmond’s prime time was the 20s and 30s.  It’s classic couture silhouettes, updated with mesh, making it a little bit more industrial and modern.

Can you tell me a little bit more about “iconoclast”?

It means rebel, basically someone who doesn’t follow the norm.  Someone who doesn’t let society dictate the way they are going to live their life, they just do whatever way they want.

Do you have a favorite piece from this collection?

*long pause * That would be like picking your favorite child.  I sewed everything myself, I patterned everything myself, I cut everything myself.  I birthed this collection, I can’t just pick. They are all my favorite.

What advise do you have for aspiring designers?

You really have to take what you can out of fashion school. The industry is ever changing, it’s so different, your journey in this industry is going to be so different, so its really good to gain the core skills of being a designer, and then add those skills to your experience.  You really have to allow your teachers to criticize you; you have to learn early on that criticism teaches you the way the business is going to be.  Take everything you can and absorb it and apply it to your life, and take the things you don’t agree with and discard them.  Fashion is always about what you think and your point of view.  It’s all about who you want to be, creating your own brand, creating a following of what you’ve done.  Make sure you have a clear goal of what you want.  At the end of the day Fashion is a business.

Evan Ducharme

Nicolette Lang-Andersen, Evan Ducharme, Rachelle Lupton

Image: Marshall Heritage

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Chi Chi Style Diary – When Fashion and Art Fuse

It’s not often I get to wear an insanely beautiful art piece such as this, so when I do, you damn well sure know that there will be a style diary about it ;p  Made by emerging, Vancouver designer, Taran K. Cheema, the background of her stunning collection, which graced the runway of VFW last year, can be found in an interview of her I did for WOVE Magazine (pg 20 – 21) last year.

Outfit:  Dress – Taran K. Cheema / Heels – River Island / Clutch – Aldo / Earrings – Topshop (The Bay)

Images: Jennifer Grey

Vancouver Fashion Stylist

Vancouver Personal Stylist

Vancouver Personal Stylist

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Vancouver Fashion Stylist

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