There is something about Leinad Beaudet’s collection that captures our attention like never before. One of our team said that the monochromatic color of his collection is like black and white photography, it feels romantic. Another said that the simple silhouette is what draws him into Leinad’s work the most, it’s like working with a blank canvas, you are free to interpret and accessorize in any way you want. What got me the most is how the collection is quiet and subdued but never lacking confidence. It almost feels as if he lets his audience use their own imagination to make their own story out of his timeless pieces.
Asked if he had any muses for his brand, Leinad answered, “I have many muses, my friends are my muses. They’re of all ages, background, profession, and colours, great women whom I love dearly.” Well, if you take a careful look at his work, you will be surprised to see that Leinad is able to dress women from various generations and backgrounds with only one collection.
Englave: How long have you been working on the Leinad Beaudet label?
Leinad: I decided to launch Leinad Beaudet a year ago. My job was not really creative so I decided to get creative on my own.
Englave: What or who inspired you to be a fashion designer?
Leinad: I’ve been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember. It’s a natural progression from watching my grandmother sewing and touring the fabric shops in our neighborhood with her. But the initial trigger that I can remember most was watching the interview of Yves St-Laurent on TV with a footage from his catwalk. I saw a tall and beautiful black woman walking on the runway. She looked really arrogant and stunning with her bosom barely covered by a chiffon blouse. I was in awe! I instantly dreamed to make women look untouchable and goddess-like, the way Yves St-Laurent did.
Englave: Did you study fashion design or are you a self-taught designer? What is your background?
Leinad: I started when I was a teenager. I customized vintage clothes for a thrift shop and designed stage costumes for my “club kids” friends or some theater plays. I soon realized that I was missing some important techniques so i decided to take a “technical” fashion design program in Montreal at CEGEP Marie-Victorin. It was a really great program back in the days, it gave me strong pattern making and sewing skills. I got my first job in the industry right after I graduated but realized that I needed to learn more. So I decided to enroll at the Antwerp’s Royal Academy and studied there for three years, during which I “re-learned” everything.
Englave: What is your favorite part of the design process?
Leinad: I love the research phase, trying to find the starting point and inspirations whether it’s from art, film, moment, story, colours, or fabrics. I also love the process of making the patterns and first toiles as well as the part where I have to figure out the right construction or details that will become the core of the collection.
Englave: Which design principles are most important for you?
Leinad: Form must meet function. Every “ornamental” details in a garment must be part of the design construction and/or the concept. I am not a big fan of adding a detail just for the sake of adding something only to make the garment “interesting”.
Englave: Do you have a muse?
Leinad: I have many muses, my friends are my muses. They’re of all ages, background, profession, and colours, great women whom I love dearly.
Englave: Which is your preferred season? Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter? Why?
Leinad: I prefer Fall/Winter because the fabrics are richer and more interesting. I feel that there are more possibilities to create interesting shapes, volumes, layerings, and colour schemes. If you live in Montréal, there’s not really a thing called spring and sometimes we skip the summer too so you better try to love the Fall/Winter seasons, if not you’re doomed.
Englave: Where do you source the material?
Leinad: As an emerging designer, getting nice quality fabrics is the most difficult aspect of the business. We are not big enough yet to reach the minimums imposed by the manufacturers (500/1000 mts) most of the time. So I go to a supplier that sells ends of bulk from European manufacturers. I also have some sale agencies that carry fabrics from factories in Spain, Italy or Turkey, that allow “sampling” orders at reasonable price. Sometimes I team up with a designer friend of mine to purchase some basic fabrics together.
Englave: What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Leinad: I love to portray Quebecois’ identity through garment so a lot of my inspirations come from our collective past. I always start from a cultural, social, artistic moment from our past and/or present and try to make it relevant for our modern society.
Englave: What is your proudest moment?
Leinad: When I did my first presentation, when I received my first order, when one of my dress was worn to a gala… In other words, I’m proud every time I see my work coming to life and being worn by somebody.
Englave: What is your biggest challenge as an emerging designer?
Leinad: We are at the starting point so putting the structure in place that will allow the brand to exist and grow is my biggest challenge in addition to finding the right collaborators (cutters , seamstress, suppliers, sale agent, etc)
Englave: What do you love the most about the fashion industry?
Leinad: Depends of the days, sometimes I don’t like it at all 😛 Just kidding. I love the pace, the deadlines, always running forward, always have to keep yourself informed about what is happening in so many fields. You kinda have to keep yourself on the edge if you don’t want to miss the boat.
Englave: Describe your brand in 3 words
Leinad: Timeless, Thoughtful, Elegant.
Englave: Where can we purchase your beautiful collection?
Leinad: For this season, the collection is only available “by order”, which can be made by contacting us directly through our site. For the next season (S/S 2015). We have a some retailers that are interested in carrying our line and will put up an E-store. We’ll update everything on the site ASAP so stay tuned.