Edmonton-based designer Malorie Urbanovitch is one of two Canadian designers who took home the coveted title of Awarded Designer after showing her spring/summer 2014 collections in a group finale runway show during Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week in October 2013 as part of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up 2013 program. Mercedes-Benz Start Up works to discover and support up-and-coming Canadian designers, and as part of the prize Urbanovitch will have the opportunity to rock the fashion industry again during a special runway show at World MasterCard Fashion Week in March 2014.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I design pieces for women to wear, as well as sourcing the materials, making the patterns and sewing the samples. I also manage the manufacturing in Europe, the marketing and sales side of the business, and all the challenges that are rooted in being a fashion designer in Edmonton.
Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
It was a natural transition. I decided to start making clothes while in university. I took a few design classes and I was in school full time when I made my first collection for fun. I presented it in Edmonton and all of the sudden I had all these people who liked what I had created, so I made a few more collections and got interest from buyers. I realized I could actually do this as a career.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I really enjoy what I do because each day is totally different, but this can make my schedule quite hectic. I get to meet a lot of people and work with a lot of talented artists, which is really rewarding. It’s challenging for me to stay organized. I never used to keep a calendar or write my appointments down – I felt it was a good exercise for memory, but now that would be impossible.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would love to live in Europe for a while. All of my manufacturing and a lot of my sourcing is done there, and obviously it’s a very inspiring, creative place. I think I will end up in Canada (I love Canada) but it’s something I’ve always pictured doing.
What does success look like to you?
Success is really just about being able to do what you want to be doing, and making a living doing it. Hopefully a pretty good one.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being named an Awarded Designer from the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program in October 2013 was a huge moment for me. It was reassurance that I’m going in the right direction.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I think the most important thing is to have a voice. If you’re not saying anything, no one is going to listen.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I love animals more than any sane person should, so I give what I can to the Humane Society. My house is also sort of a cat hostel for strays when it’s super cold outside. It sounds grosser than it really is…
What to you is notable?
Being an inspiration to people.
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