Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Christopher Bates, who launched his eponymous menswear line after completing his fashion diploma at Milan’s Istituto Marangoni. What’s the most memorable milestone of his career? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am the Founder and Creative Director of my eponymous menswear line, Christopher Bates.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I’ve always had an interest in fashion and by the time I was 13 I had a sketchbook full of designs.
However, growing up in Vancouver I wasn’t fully aware of the fashion industry, and didn’t think it was a viable career path.
It wasn’t until my mid-20s, after a couple of trips to Europe, that I realized there was a market for my designs. In 2006, I sold my Vancouver apartment and moved to Milan to study fashion design at Istituto Marangoni. After completing my fashion diploma, I returned to Vancouver and launched my menswear line in 2008. In 2010, I moved to Toronto to expand my business.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is that every day I’m living for my passion. It’s a good feeling putting on your own pants every morning. But it doesn’t come without its challenges. Practically every part of my business is challenging and the logistics are particularly complex because I work with mills and manufacturers all around the world.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I’m content with my work/life balance.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I’ll be further along the path to achieving my goal of creating a leading international fashion brand.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Launching the business and creating my first collection was a major undertaking. I managed to do it by working hard, having a good plan and being especially resourceful.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success is working hard to achieve your goals. I believe money equals freedom, which leads to happiness.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Having my line picked up by leading Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I always like to remember that you what you get out of life is exactly what you put in – nothing less and nothing more. Young professionals should have lofty goals and work hard towards them. When you do this and overcome complex challenges, it’s a uniquely rewarding experience.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
My apartment; I love cooking and hosting dinner parties.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
When I’m not working, I’m spending time with family, friends and my girlfriend. During my ‘me’ time, I also play sports, read books, watch movies, cook, travel, listen to music, party and indulge in a little Candy Crush.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Europe. I love the myriad of diverse cultures and rich history. I’m constantly stimulated. It’s intoxicating.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
It’s a tie: Queen, Immortal (from Highlander), and the Top Gun Anthem by Harold Faltermeyer.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Hosting a cooking show, making movies or making electronic music.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support several charities, but I’d like to highlight Jade’s KIDS Foundation specifically. Their mission is to prevent substance abuse and drug addiction among children and youth, which is imperative.
What to you is notable?
“The purpose of life is self-development.” (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)