Winnipeg-based Stephanie C is our head designer for the SLIMS brand here at Nygard International. Born in Winnipeg, she studied Fashion Merchandising & Marketing at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto and has never looked back. These days, she can be found researching trends, creating new styles or engineering garment fits. Today, we get a sneak peek into what makes a fashion designer tick and discover what it’s like to be helping design collections that are worn by women all over the world.
What made you choose a career in fashion?
Since I can remember I’ve always loved fashion – dressing up dolls in clothes and making my own style. I really enjoyed working in retail as my first job so I knew it was right to pursue my career in the fashion industry. Working for Nygard was my first job after Fashion School. I started as a tech merch and 8 years later I am managing the design and merchandise team for SLIMS with the amazing opportunity of working directly with Mr. Nygard.
Describe your typical work day…
There is no such thing as typical day in fashion. One day we’re designing new collections and brainstorming ideas and the next day we’re fitting garments to approve for production. Multi-tasking is key every day in this job.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the latest SLIMS collection…
Mr. Nygard is the genius behind the SLIMS brand, designing pants that make women look & feel amazing. It all starts with the fabric which is engineered down to the yarn – it’s all science when it comes to fabric and finding the best quality. The fit is really what I have learned is key…I personally try on every single SLIM designed to ensure the fit is made perfect to the curves that all of us women have, and should embrace!
How has that inspiration influenced your most recent designs?
The inspiration of listening to women and the customer’s needs and wants is really what influences our next designs. Designing isn’t just about picking pretty things. It’s all about the end consumer and making sure we are giving her what she wants so she keeps coming back.
Can you shed some light on your creative processes?
Creating product is about being innovative; finding the next best fabric or the newest style detail that the customers don’t have yet. We travel all around the world, from China to Vietnam, India and Jordan in order to find & create the newest fabrics which starts the process. Once we have the fabric, we can engineer the fit to the body and the style details are the added cherry on the top to bring it all to life.
What are you most proud of achieving here at Nygard?
Making a great product & working as a team is the most rewarding. There’s so much hard work that goes into every design which couldn’t be done without the contribution from every team member, and seeing the sales at the end of the day makes all that work worth it.
What do you find most challenging about being a fashion designer?
Taking risks is the most challenging. The fashion business is very unpredictable and the consumer is constantly changing so you need to keep up with her and show her what the new must-have item is that she needs in her wardrobe. Mr. Nygard always says “if it’s easy to design it’s hard to sell, but if it’s hard to design it’s easy to sell.” We take risks to have the most innovative designs.
Can you give our readers some insider info on next season’s trends?
It’s all about head-to-toe dressing. Taking beautiful prints and using them from top to bottom. Printed SLIMS are so fresh and fun and we’re designing tops to style with every single one so each woman has a complete outfit to make it easy for her to shop.
Who is your celebrity style crush?
Blake Lively is my personal style inspiration – always so put together with a polished and feminine look but with an easy vibe that never looks over done.
Which one piece of advice would you give to those wanting to get into fashion design?
Don’t just be a fashion designer…be a merchandiser, a planner, a fit specialist, business savvy, and a team player. Being well rounded in the fashion business will open the door to many more opportunities to take you further in your career. And lastly, work hard and never give up!